Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2010

Five Weeks Old

A lot of changes have been going on.
Everyone has almost all their feathers now.  I'm noticing a distinct difference between the two sexes.  I've actually been noticing it all along but now it's becoming clearer to me.  Things which told the difference when they were little, but since I didn't know anything about the differences I've just been watching.  So I'm going to point out some of these differences here in these pictures.
The one on the left has a long full feathered tail and it's comb is still unformed.  The one on the right has almost no tail or very short but it's comb is already forming.  I'll find a better picture of both.

The one on the left I'm assuming is a little hen.  The one in front on the right a little rooster.  The ones I'm assuming are hens have full feathered bodies and tails but the roosters seem to have been putting there energy into growing the comb and wattles.
The picture on the right shows more feathers and tail.  The one on the right much less feathers and barely any tail but a comb already becoming obvious.  These two pictures taken at three weeks old.
Chickens are getting so big.  I love how my husband keeps working on the coop and anything else involving chickens, instead of mowing and other stuff he normally does.  I'm thinking he really likes the chickens.
Here's some more pictures at 5 weeks old.
Ok, so that's not chickens, that's our cat George.  He had a couple of encounters with the electronet so now he's resigned to watching from the playcenter.
Picture on the right shows how they are all wearing bloomers.
Six Weeks Old
They are taking care of the grass and weeds. 
Look how big the buckeye is!  Here is a little gazebo to shelter the water from the hot sun.  Ever since we built it we haven't had any "hot" sun.  That is what happens.
very curious about the camera
Beautiful at six weeks.  Mark made a roof over the doorway to help the door not swell so much with the rain.  We have had mostly rain.  The chickens don't seem to mind if it rains, they just love being outside.
Indoors, roosting and napping.  Curious again about the camera.  They love the attention.  If they only knew that I was writing about them and that there pictures were all over the internet.  They would be so proud.  They might be too proud and expect diva treatment.
Oh, wait, they already do expect diva treatment.  The first night I removed the heatlamp they made such a fuss, I put a regular red light bulb up.  They were OK that night.  But since then they have made a huge fuss everynight about
the heatlamp being gone.

I had to rearrange some things in the coop because they decided to sleep in the corner.  Problem was the corner was only big enough for one and everyone was piling in.  I moved the feed cans next to the big door and made a corner big enough for everyone. 
I started giving scraps to them.  Not too many at first, but they love the scraps so much that everytime I head back there they all come running, prepared to fight for whatever I throw over the fence.  I am careful not to give them any heavily salted food as I did read that too much salt can make them sick.  I gave them some cooked pork scraps. I was just curious.  Lasted in the pen about 3 seconds.

 Seven Weeks Old
I haven't been able to get any pictures yet this week because it won't stop raining.  The chickens don't care but I have to be careful not to let the coop shavings get too damp.  They have gotten used to the regular light bulb now.  It gets dark at nine o'clock now and so I go out about 8 - 8:30 and close the windows in the coop, fluff up the bedding, check the water and spend a little time with them.  Then I go back to the house to take care of things there and at nine o'clock I go out to the coop again and everyone is inside and in their corner.  That's when I shut the little door.

Eight Weeks Old
My babies are getting so big.  They are about halfway to the maturity age.  On the left is a picture of my buckeye hen.  I am guessing that because there is no comb growing yet and her tail is showing some black on the tips but not so dark as some of the others.  On the right is a little roo posing for the camera.
A buckeye rooster on the left, see his comb growing, he is darker in color and has lots of fluffy tail feathers.  On the right a little hen checking out the camera.

A cockerelle on the left again a pullet on the right.  (I think those are the correct terms)  They get excited when I come out to see them and pose for me.

Guys can get so serious.  Doing the stare down.  On the right a rich green color in the tail feathers.

Taking a stroll, a cockerelle. And a pullet foraging.  They are filling out nicely and the cockerelles seem to have caught up in size with the pullets. 

Notice the red string.  On Friday I saw a hawk swoop down and try to get one of my chickens.  The chicken flew threw the netting and the hawk got caught in it just for a minute.  It got away ok and the chickens huddled squawking in the coop.  They were extremely anxious.  The one who went through the fence, flew back through and on into the coop.  I didn't see it do that because I was watching the hawk who was sitting up in the tree.  It didn't have a chicken and I didn't see any chickens wandering around.  They didn't come out of the coop again until I finished tying red string (it is actually knitting yarn) across the yard.  Then they all relaxed and ran out and all over.  As if they felt safer with the string.  I'm not even sure it works but it made them feel better and I haven't seen any more hawks.  Yesterday we opened up a wall in the coop and covered it with rabit hutch wire.  Half inch squares.  Now I don't have to close the little window at night because it is gone.  It had only mosquito netting on it and I didn't feel safe leaving it open.  The opening should allow the breeze to flow better through the coop.  It was getting very hot in there and I felt that the chickens little lungs were in jepardy during the day.  Soon Mark will make a wooden door with the same kind of screen - rabbit hutch wire.  The mosquito netting gets closed up quickly with chicken dust and needs to be closed at night even though it is warm enough to be left open.  A racoon could quickly tear through this kind of netting.  Yesterday the air in the coop had gotten very hot, over 90 degrees and stale.  I made a shelter from the heat outside for them and put food in it and closed the coop door to keep them out of it until Mark came home and could help make the open side.  (help !!!!!, actually he did the job and I helped him, lol)


  1. Great pics! What strain are your Buckeyes? I have some a few weeks younger.

  2. Not sure what strain means. sorry. I'm such a newbie. My Buckeyes are from Jeff Lays stock. I didn't get them from him but from a lady closer to me who buys eggs from him. They are so friendly and curious about me.

  3. Yeah, sorry I couldn't accept your post. I wanted to accept the first paragraph though but couldn't see how to edit it. No opinion on what you said, just this, when your new to chickens you learn as you go about your sources etc. Eventually I'll figure out who's who. Thanks for the heads up. The more sources of info you get the more picky you can be.