Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hey, Hey Chicky Baby!

My chicky babies are 2 weeks old today.  They are so funny looking at this stage, I can't help but laugh at them a little.  I told my kids today that we have twelve 'tweens' on our hands right now.  My daughter said, "Yeah, they are definitely tweens.  That's the stage where human kids even look funny." 
I think I agree.

Now, I'd like to introduce you to my little brood.  These gals (and I'm thinking I have a couple roosters in the bunch) are egg layers - I hope.  I had them all named after a couple days of watching their little quirky personalities emerge.  My mom thinks I am nuts, but seriously, they each seem to have their own little personalities.  Is this just in my head or can a chicken have its own personality?  I am new to this whole chicken scene, so someone tell me I ain't crazy.  Please?  :)
Ok, here we go.  I started off with 6 Barred Plymouth Rocks:
1.  Helga Hoofenheifer
2.  Lucy Ricardo
3.  Ethel Mertz
4.  Cream Puff
5.  Olive Oyl 
6.  Hazel Beauregard
Rhode Island Reds & Red Sex Links
7.  Marmalade McOrange
8.  Mavis McDoogal
9.  Ginger Spiced
10.  Tangina Tangerine

Buff Brahma
11.  Buffy Beau Fe
12.  Muffy Beau Fe
White Leghorn
13.  Chicken Little (aka Tinka)
Last week,  little Olive stopped eating and I noticed she had a poopy butt, although her vent was clean, she had some poo stuck on her that I cleaned off.  The next day, the same thing happened, I found poo on her, but it was caked up pretty badly.  I soaked her bottom and gently got it off her and she started eating and drinking and doing fine.  

Little Olive Oyl getting cleaned

She was smaller than the rest of the chicks, but she was eating and drinking just fine.  I refill their water bottle twice a day and their food once a day, and I make a point to pick each one up and talk to it - I don't know if that'll help them or not, but I'd like for them to recognize my voice and not freak out and run from me when they're in the chicken pen outside later.  I had just refilled their food and had taken their water bottle away to clean it and refill it.  When I came back, I noticed them all in the corner huddled into a "we're-scared-to-death" pile, like they do when I get their bottles out...they were on top of little Olive.  I shooed them off her, but she was dead.  She was warm and floppy, so she must have just died.  I am not sure if they smooshed her, or if she died because she was sick.  Nevertheless, it hurt my feelings.  I held her in my hands and couldn't believe she died in that short of a period.  I questioned myself for having chickens and then my daughter said out loud what I was thinking.
"What are we doing?  We can't have chickens, we aren't cut out for this."  She was upset because Olive died.  Maybe we are too soft hearted.  Maybe we aren't cut out for this.
I don't know.
 I kept telling myself and the kiddos that what happened was just a part of life and we would no doubt lose more chickens at some point down the road in our quest to become more self sufficient homesteaders trying to learn to raise animals. 
After Olive died, I quickly replaced her with a White Leghorn.  This may sound crazy, but the number was 11 and I can't have an un-even number.  OCD much? 

I guarded Chicken Little (kiddsos call her Tinka) for a week to make sure the other chicks accepted her and didn't kill her because she was smaller than the rest of them, and believe it or not...that little thing can hold it's own.  She rides the waves of their backs when they get in a tizzy and start running and flapping their little tweenybopper wings.  She hangs with Helga, which is probably a rooster.  I don't know too much about sexing chickens, but Helga is bigger, has a little spur like bump beginning to form and is the boss of the rest of them.  She (or he) also tends to not sleep with the rest of the chicks and sort of sets off to herself (himself).  Also, in the past couple days, I've noticed she is more vocal than the rest of them, making new sounds.  I hope that I am wrong about Helga.  I didn't intend on having roosters right now.
Here's a few photos of them, beginning the day I got them.  Look at how sweet they are!
This is a 4ft. long tub that I am using as a brooder.  Yes, they are in my Jaquzzi here.  They were there for a week.  Everything looks red from the red heat lamp.
Moved them out to the garage.  That heavy tapeline is on that screen for a reason.  :)
White Leghorn - Chicken Little (Tinka)
Helga Hoofenheifer.  I think this may be a rooster.  
Check out those leg feathers on this Buff Brahma - Buffy Beau Fe.
I used the flash from my camera because of the red heat lamp...they didn't appreciate the flash too much.

My brother and I have made plans for my chicken coop and run.  We have measured and have our stakes and lines set, but the weather changed and put on the brakes to us working outside.  I'm hoping the weatherman is right about next week so we can get back to getting these ladies a house built outside.

Rurality Blog Hop #8

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Enie Dub said...

Gorgeous little chickys!

Lisa Gordon said...

Oh my goodness, Marissa, they are absolutely precious!
I so enjoyed reading all of the name you chose for them.
I think Helga Hoofenheifer is my gal. Or guy!! :-)

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Buttons said...

Oh you made me laugh then just as fast tear up thinking of your daughter after Olive died. When we raised chickens my daughters dealt with the death in a similar way but as we kept raising them they started to understand more. The three chickens my parents gave them they named Chicken McNuggets we thought at that point we had turned them into cold hearted farmers but was not the case. They turned out to be caring loving compassionate to all animals and people and except death as part of the process.
I cannot wait to see your chicken house. B

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sorry you lost Olive. It does feel horrible when you lose one. They're so adorable though!

TexWisGirl said...

little ones all growing fast. i hope the rest will do well.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

First of all, you are NOT crazy! I have 12 chickens and they each have their own distinct personality. That's what makes them so fun.

I'm so sorry you lost Olive. Chicks can be quite fragile and it sounds like she may have been ill to begin with. Losses are always hard. The fact that you were upset means that you ARE cut out for this. You have a compassionate heart and I think that is exactly what you need to be cut out for keeping animals.

They are all so very cute and congrats and good luck on your new adventure. You'll have a blast :)

Briana Jeffers said...

I love your chicken names. How fun! When we had chickens the only ones with names were the roosters. One was Hancock(after the movie) and I forget the other one. During the presidential elections their names got changed to the main candidates. My children are strange sometimes!

Ellie said...

Your little chicks are so sweet and I love their names -you have obviously put a lot of thought into it :)
What a wee shame about little Olive - that must have hard.


O dear, poor Olive. It is sweet that your daughter feels so for them. These chicks really are beautiful! (This is vaguely reminding me of my own chicken post here: )

Buttons said...

Hey I thought I would drop in to see if they are still in the tub:) Hope you are well. Chirp chirp. B