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Posts Tagged ‘Backyard Chickens’


Obsessed.

Strange.

Cuckoo.

Bizarre.

Insane.

Uncouth.

Demented.

Sick.

Nuts.

Happy. 😀

Euphoric. 😆

Bitten.

And those are just the single-word descriptions. I may have to make a new category. Because, you see, even though I *know* this happens every single time, whether I plan it or not, I continue to repeat the deed because I am, quite simply, addicted.

I am pretty sure if someone was mapping my brain at those times, the pleasure center would be lit up like a Christmas tree, and you could see those neurons firing the message to send out some oxytocin; maybe even some prolactin. {And it might be contagious, too, so watch out! 😀 }

Wednesday afternoon, I headed to Tractor Supply to get a stock tank and horse feed since they were out on Tuesday. They told me they were getting bantams on Friday, so on the off-chance that they got some silkies, I figured I’d get a stock tank since the brooder didn’t make the move. 😥

The stock tank would be fine, and we can reuse it for the horses when we’re done. It’s a good stop-gap measure.

So there I went, mostly to get food for the horses. You know you have to walk by the chickens, yes?  😆

I spent close to 2 hours there, talking to people about chickens. There was a very nice lady who had just gotten some, and she was taking pictures, trying to figure out which breeds she had gone home with. We started talking, and pretty soon, we had covered all kinds of things, particularly coop design and the space requirements per chicken. {A good rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per chicken; large fowl.}

I talked to some gentlemen, as well, and suggested they all go the Backyard Chicken website and forums. The forums have all kinds of sections, including starting chicks, breeds, predators, and coop design. Really. If you are thinking about chickens, start there. SO many people are willing to share their plans with you it’s not even funny. You won’t regret it!

I spent all that time jabbering and then realized Hunny was going to be coming home soon, so I needed to skeedaddle.

I was in the parking lot on the way out when I realized I had forgotten to get the stock tank. *sigh*.

So, Thursday, I headed back to get the stock tank. And, I wanted to check the time that the bantams for sure were going to be getting there. Turns out, they had literally just gotten there. They let me come back an hour later, after they had time to get warmed back up, and pick through them.

No silkies. 😥  😥

BUT. They did have other, four-toed, feather-legged bantams. Tractor Supply has a minimum of 6 chicks to take home……..

You can see where this is going, can’t you? 😆 You might think I would be thinking, “I just ordered 40 large fowl and 15 guineas the other day. I know I can order the 8 in the breeds that I want and get them here in June.”

Ok, I admit I was thinking that. 😆

Louder than that voice, though, was the one whispering, “You haven’t had these kinds of feather-footed chooks. Look, aren’t they cute? Look at how small they are! Awww, they’re so fuzzy! Aren’t they cute? And there’s only 6 of them…….”

Because we haven’t built anything yet, I thought, what they heck- let me text Hunny and see what he says. I explained to him that I would have to end up with 12 bantams total because I’d have to get 6 more; or if they didn’t end up getting any in, I’d have to order 12.

I could hear him rolling his eyes. 😀

I did mention, though, that bantams are so small that you really need 2 of them to make 1 large chicken, so you could get more with the same space.

Struck down again by chicken math! 😆

So we dug through and picked them out. 😆 There were exactly 6 feather-footed bantams.

I had no idea what they were. Naturally, when I got home, I got down to business, researching to see if I could identify them.

I think I might have a clue what these cuties are.

chick 1

chick1.2

chick1.3

I think {and certainly, I am no expert} that this is a Black Cochin chick. I think I have maybe two them. One I’m real iffy on, because he’s somewhere between this one and the other suspected Barred Cochin chick. I’ll show pictures of them last.

chick2

chick2.3

chick2.2

This little cutie I think is a Buff Brahma. If feather sexing works on this breed and is the same for others, this baby is a girl. I only have one of them, but she is pretty zippy and is very, very active and busily trying to fly and get into everything. Her tail feathers have grown since yesterday. What a riot!

chick3

chick3.2

Rounding out my set of 6 are these plumpers. You can see how they have a fuzzy yellow tush and more yellow on their bellies. They all have a similar wing pattern, tipped with yellow. These actually look a lot like our Barred Rock chicks did.

The one I question is not as yellow-y as this little bug, but is not quite as solid as the chick I suspect of being a Black Cochin.

At this point, it’s a waiting game until they start feathering out and we can really tell what they are. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have chicks again! There is just something about hearing their little cheeps that brings a smile to my face.

I’ve also continued to be amazed at how fast they grow! You can literally see them growing tail feathers and getting their other feathers. You can see their egg tooth when you first get them, and watch as it gets picked off or worn down and disappear. And I have to laugh at them digging and scratching; doing all the “big kid” behavior, when it’s not something that’s been learned by watching other chickens.

Already, we’ve had some races {where they race and try to fly but end up just zipping all over} and we’ve had some hockey, when they thought a piece of shaving was a bug. They are hilarious- it really IS ‘chick tv!’

It’s been another unexpectedly busy day. At this point, I’m just tired. 😀

So now you know. I’m _________. 😆

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He had a vision. I had a vision. But he was building it. So I kept my mouth shut.  😀

It started off simply enough- we agreed to 3 chickens.  Both of us were bitten by chicken math pretty early on.  As any good builder knows (at least in our case :lol:), you put your plans together, and then you build bigger than you think you really need.

That meant I could get more chickens.  So then we planned on 6.  And he built bigger.  😀

By this point and time, I was in full addict mode, chicken math  and oops, I did it again having fully taken over.  And, to be fair, hunny was too, although you won’t get him to admit it right now.  😉

His vision was a chicken tractor that looked like a barn.  The upside to a tractor is that they are mobile, which means you can move them around your yard, making clean up easier, whilst giving your chickies fun things to do in the grass.

Work began. 

Then a bit of paint. 

Once it was finished, we moved it into place on the other side of the yard, next to the garden.

Long story short, we needed to add a run.  And probably another nighttime roost.  Plans for a silo to attach to one side were discussed and pondered. Materials for a run were acquired. Research was ongoing, and my “wouldn’t that be nice” list continued to grow.  😆

My big concern has been predators.  While I don’t think we’re going to get bears and coyotes in the backyard, I couldn’t emphasise enough how devastated I would be (never mind the kids!!) if something got in and took off the heads of my chickies and scooped them out one handful at a time.  More research was done.

This morning, he says to me, “I really ought to just build something else entirely.”  Can you see the jaw drop and the eyes bugging out of my head in sheer delight? (clap clap clap) So, we designed and priced, and off they went to get materials.

We moved the barn tractor back to the other side of the yard, so they can build in place. While I’m going to miss our little barn and its features, it’s going to a *very* good home. 😉

You can’t see it well, but the ladder is on sort of a pulley to close the ladder up at night.  Both sides of the roof open for easy cleaning.

I know that last one is redundant, but I can’t take enough pictures of the chickies!  😆

Round 2 is well under way.  The two oldest are out there (yes, in the 100 degree heat) pre-drilling holes and screwing things down.  My oldest dd is more inclined to this kind of work than my son is, which is interesting.  I think the only thing he really likes building is computers.  😆

Let the round two chicken fun begin!  😀

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