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Posts Tagged ‘Plymouth Rock (chicken)’


Yesterday, we brought Cocoa into the house. She’s 20 weeks and 4 days old today. We brought her in for a few reasons- she was plucking others and screeching. Yep. Screeching. If you’ve ever had the power steering pump go dry or go out on your vehicle, you know this sound.

Ear. Piercing. 

Louder than my roo was. 

Funnier than heck.  😆

But very, very loud.

We let her out with the others as usual for the evening and let her spend the night outside. This morning, she wasn’t as noisy, but still pretty loud, and still thinking about plucking. So in she came again!

All of the girls are at the POL, or point of lay. Basically, this means they are technically old enough to start laying eggs. This is not a precise science, of course, and some don’t start laying until they are closer to 40 weeks.

Cocoa, you may recall, was one of the second batch of chickens, the result of chicken math (read Oops, I Did It Again to see how chicken math got me again!), and was a mystery chick. We had been told they thought she was a Dominiquer. However, we know for certain that she is NOT a Dominique; she is another Barred Rock.

This morning, she was still pretty screechy, which is good for lots of all-out laughing. She was also going in circles and squatting. Really, they are pretty much all practicing the squatting. Just for grins and giggles, I was going to try to find a shoe box for her (for a nesting box). Never got around to it.

Right as I was getting ready to head out this afternoon, I heard the news: there’s an egg!! Cocoa is the first to lay an egg!

One thing to know about new layers is that the egg may be thin shelled and quite small. Generally speaking, it can take a few months of consistent laying to get the larger eggs. I’m not picky.  😆

Here’s the surprised chicken with her new egg. 😆  Since I was on my way out, I took a picture with my phone. I had an appointment, so couldn’t linger to get my camera.

Interestingly (and a relief), she hasn’t screeched since. She quieted right down into her sweet, clucking self.

I wonder how she’ll be the next time she needs to lay…..

I have to say, I never thought I would be this excited- nay- giddy– over an egg. I mean, really, this is what they are supposed to do! Still, I can’t help myself! It was a perfect little egg; good shell and all. 

Hooray!

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Yes, it’s true.  There is such a thing as chicken math, and I have completely fallen victim to it.  😉

I can’t say enough how much we loooooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeee  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ our chicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Friday, Hunny had decided thy weren’t as dumb as he thought they would be, and was carrying them around the house. He also agreed that getting a few more wouldn’t be a big deal.  😆  Since I had only gotten 1 Barred Rock (BR) (Rocky) and 1 Buff Orpington (BO) (Butternut) and thought they were awesome, the initial plan was to get 1 more of each.

But then I got to thinking (and this is where the chicken math kicks in 😀 ), that K had gotten a Producing Red (which is an mix, as I understand it, between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire Red) and it was cute and friendly. So now I want one, too.  😆 

Since the red lays brown eggs and is a higher egg producing hen than my Easter Eggers (EEs) (which lay blue/green varitey eggs), combined with my BR and BO, who will also both lay brown eggs and are higher producing egg laying birds, I figured I should also get another EE to balance things out.  😆  (EEs are the hatchery version of the Ameraucanas. When doing research, it seems that if it comes from a hatchery, it is an EE, but is wrongly tagged as the Ameraucanas.  While it carries the blue egg gene, it is not true to the breed.  Knowlegeable chicken folks will tell you that if you want *real* Ameraucanas, which are rare, you need to find an approved breeder.)

Down to the livestock store I went, getting there bright and early by 7 am, hoping they had some left. Well, shucks, they had sold out all 1,5000 chicks by 2 pm Friday, the first day the sale “officially” started.  “You can order them,” I was told.  Because there were others ordering as well, it was not a problem for me to have a total order of 4 chicks;  1 of each different breed.  Yippee!!

Now, if you have researched getting chicks, you will know that hatcheries have a minimum order (mostly because chicks need to stay warm during shipping, although there are some that will ship lower numbers but charge you significantly more).  Tractor Supply (TSC) has a minimum order of 25 chicks total, although you can mix breeds in increments of 5.

To bring them home from TSC, I would need to get 6. I had been to my local TSC on Thursday, and they had some chicks.  Problem was, they only had a straight run (which means boys and girls) and they had no idea what was in the tank.  Interestingly, both TSC and the livestock and feed store get their chicks from the same hatchery.  Why one place knows what they are getting and the other one doesn’t is a mystery to me.

But I digress.  🙂

So, ordering from the feed store made sense to me.  My question was, what kind of time frame are we looking at?  When I had gone online at the hatchery early in the season, everything I wanted wasn’t going to be available until May at the earliest, and since I hadn’t ordered then, it seemed to me (without checking, of course) that a new order would be even later in the season.

This would mean that I would have two set of chicks that were very different ages, which would necessitate a second brooder and worries about integrating “flocks.” After talking to the folks at the store, though, they seemed pretty certain that they would get all the other ordered chicks in about two weeks, based on years past. I couldn’t help myself, and took the plunge.  😆

Now that a few days have passed, I figure, even if it takes longer for them to get here, I would not be too worried about getting set up for another brooder.  Given the way this batch of chicks has grown, I am not too sure that it will last them until they are ready to be outside, so chances are good that we’ll need to make them something bigger anyhow.  And if that happens, I’ll have an empty smaller brooder, perfect for baby chicks.

See!  It all works out!  Chicken math is something that folks going into chickens need to be aware of. 😉 My hope is that I don’t end up with roos, because I’m pretty sure that would be a problem.

There is nothing like hearing the cheep cheep cheeping from my girlies.  I also think there is nothing quite as fascinating as chick tv, either.  On the second day, they were trying to fly, and it is crazy how fast their wings grow!! By the time I had them for a day, they were trying to perch.  Even though the perch wasn’t that high, there was much falling off, and limbo practice going on. As you can see in the pictures below, roosting has been conquered, although they don’t do this at night yet.  Lately, there has been much bickering and shoving to get the “sweet spot” on the perch.  😆

♥♥♥ my chicks!!!

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