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June has been a cooker here so far - I have lost track of how many 90 degree days we've had in a row now, but the talk is that we are breaking a record this early in the summer. At any rate the strategy in the chicken coop is to stay cool and in the shade.
It's been a hectic month with work, kids and other 'stuff'. Spring has sprung around our little backyard farm. We moved out the baby chickens - now about 6 wks old - to the grow-out pen. Looks like we have about 3 roosters out of the 16, so not too bad a ratio. We had 4 baby ducks hatch from our own eggs. Three are pekins (AFLAC ducks..) and one is a mix Rouen/Pekin. They are growing like crazy but still a few weeks before they can go out in the big pen. The kittens are over 3 weeks old now - their eyes are opening and they are starting to get around better. It won't be long before they will be ready to explore beyond the crate they have been in since birth. Patchy is getting a bit restless with motherhood but she's been a really great momma cat. When they are weaned I'll probably move the camera back into the parakeet pen...as soon as I can figure out how to keep the parakeets from chewing on the cord, that is...
Patchy finally dropped those babies on Wednesday night. I THINK we have a girl and a boy - just two babies, which is great. Momma kitty is doing a great job of taking care of those little ones and they are so sweet. We'll leave the camera full time on the kittens for a few days at least so we can keep an eye on them. I'm sure the only creature more relieved that I am to have those babies here is Patches!
2010.04.13...Come on kitties!...
So my sister has jinxed the poor momma cat - she came by last week and said it'd be another week at least....I guess she was right. It can't be long now? Right?? PLEASE?? For the duration I've got the cameras off except for the Kitty cam so I can keep an eye on Patchy from work. We'll resume regular 4 cam rotation if she ever has those kittens.
2010.04.07...Still waiting, still...
No kittens yet. That poor kitty is huge and miserable. How much longer can it be?? My bet was by today, but obviously I was wrong. Hope she (and we) doesn't have too many more days to wait!
Still waiting on Patchie to have those babies. I don't know how much bigger her belly can get before 'BOOM' - she is huge and getting pretty miserable. I'll try to remember to turn off the other cams when it gets dark so it's just showing her when the other cameras run out of daylight. Hopefully not too many more days to wait!
2010.03.31...On Kitten Watch...
We have the 4th cam back on line finally and it's aimed at 'Patches The Cat' who is expecting her kittens any time now. We've brought her in the house and have her all cozy in her very own space so we can keep an eye on her. She has at least two kitties in there - we can definately feel one on each side. We're not sure exactly when she is due so we'll use the camera to keep an eye on her without disturbing her.
Finally, finally, finally got the tree off the fence last week (with the help of good friends with chainsaws...)and the new netting put up today on the chicken pen. The winter storms we've had this year have really caused a lot of damage but hopefully the worst of that is behind us now, spring is on the way, and the chickens are back in their pen! I will be moving the peapen camera back out of the shelter so you can see the peacock as he displays for the ladies this spring. Also, some folks have asked what happened to the parakeet cam. We are on 3 cameras right now as the parakeets decided to chew through the power cable on the camera. I've got the camera fixed but need to rig up a way to protect the cord before putting it back in their aviary. In the meantime, we think we are expecting a litter of kittens in the next few weeks, I'll be using #4 for kitten watch before I get it back in the aviary...
We've been busy around here between work and other things and the poor chickens have been neglected somewhat. Don't worry - they are still getting fed and watered and free-range time in the yard, but as you can tell if you are regular viewer that tree that fell over the fence a couple weeks ago is STILL there. The damage to the fence means there are chickens all over the yard. Thankfully they are in a larger fenced in area so they are reasonably protected from neighborhood dogs but it will be good when I can find time to get out there and clear off the tree and repair the damage to the fence. Looks like I"m going to have to reset the line posts and replace the top rail.
2009.10.19...Got COLD last night!...
We had our first frost of the season last night. Althought it got down to about 30 degrees, everyone came through the cold night just fine. Of course they are calling for mid-70s tomorrow so the cold snap won't last too long this time!
Not much news here - school is back in and days are growing shorter. We've had a week of cloudy weather and I can't remember what the sun looks like.
2009.09.03...Fall is in the air...
We've been getting a teaser for fall weather the last couple of days. The morning low this morning was in the low 50s and it really gave notice that summer is drawing to a close, especially with school back in session. I love fall weather, but then again every season in North Carolina is my favorite!
2009.08.14...80,000 hits - WOW!...
The ChickNCam had the 80,000th hit yesterday. I can't believe we've had so many hits since we started broadcasting back in November of 2007.
We finally got a break in the rain to make the repairs to the chicken pen. It's a lot cleaner out there now with the tree removed and the netting supports and net repaired. We were able to salvage most of the netting, thankfully, but had to replace 5 of the netting supports. The fence rails suffered a few dents but nothing major needng replacement, thankfully. We also took the time to trim up some of the other over-hanging limbs so we can now walk upright again in the pen. Best news of all is that there are no chickens running around the backyard this morning - means the repairs were successful!
Tree removal wasn't on my to-do list this week but I guess it is now. We've been having big thunderstorms move through over the last several days and it appears that last night's storm was too much for my dying tree that hangs over the chicken pen. A big chunk of the tree fell on top of the chicken coop. Although we have some chickens in the duck pen, and some ducks in the chicken pen, it seems that everyone is OK.
In other updates, the parakeet population has grown from just 3 back in January to 18 as of last count. It's nice to see them able to fly around their cage and act more like nature intended them to be able to as opposed to them being in a typical small indoor cage.
Otherwise it's been a typical summer. We're on the downhill slope now and counting down the days until school starts again!
2009.06.25...Good news, bad news...
Bad news is that our peababy didn't make it. One morning he just wasn't there and we're not sure what exactly happened to him. Good news is that we have another view for the camera. The peacock has already shed his tail for the year so I've moved the dance floor camera over to view Bear and Lily. Bear and Lily are brother/sister Great Pyrenees.
We've recently reconfigured the dogs living quarters and need to keep an eye on them to make sure they are adjusting OK to their new lot - and not chewing on the side of the building. You may notice them limping - they both suffer from a congenital knee problem that causes dislocation in the knee. Thankfully it's not a painful condition for them, but it does cause them to limp on the affected leg.
2009.06.09...We have a peababy!...
We had one of the eggs hatch in the last couple days. You might see him running around in the peahen hut image.
2009.05.27...Added a fourth camera!...
The final replacement camera came in yesterday so I've added one more camera to the rotation. For now I have it aimed at the two peahens on their shared nest. They are sitting on 12 eggs between the two of them and have been for about three weeks now - I am not sure exactly when they started sitting so its sort of a guess as to when we can expect babies, or give up on the eggs. I guess I'll let the hens decide when to give up, so until we either get chicks or they give up the nest we'll be on hatch watch!
2009.05.26...The parakeet population has blossomed!...
Almost all the babies are out of the nest now and it's gone from 3 parakeets back in January, to 5 in March and now 11! There are still two that are not out of the nest quite yet, but I'm sure they'll be coming out to join the fun this week!
2009.05.18...One of the baby budgies fledged today...
One of the six baby parakeets left the nest today. The baby is the one with the short tail feathers and is a solid blue with a white spot on the top of the head. Five more to go!
2009.05.17...Can you find the ducks?...
Today was moving day. The ducks had outgrown their small pen so we moved some panels around and gave them a much larger space. Can you find them? Hint: they'll be on the chicken pen camera....
We also moved out the baby girls into the grow out pen. You can't see them on the camera images but we have about a dozen baby hens that are between 6 and 8 weeks old. They are sharing their pen with the two adolescent peacocks and Q the rooster. Q got banned from the hen pen due to his rather aggressive behavior (wait until you turn your back to get eggs or fill water up and then WHAMMO he'd get you in the legs...) I'm hoping he will be nice to the babies or he'll have to go! I've been trying to find a home for him without much luck. I can't bring myself to 'decrow' him as, despite his bad attitude, I'm sort of attached to him now.
2009.05.15...Back on the camera rotation, part 2...
I'm up to three cameras now. I got my other camera back and it's aimed at the chicken run. The rotation is every 30 seconds between the three cameras. Enjoy!
2009.05.12...Back on the camera rotation...
I have gotten one of my cameras back so we're back on rotation. One camera is aimed at the peafowl pen and the other is in the parakeet aviary.
The peacock is pacing a lot these days because both his ladies are sitting on a nest full of eggs. I think it makes him nervous - reminds me of the nervous expectant papa pacing through the hospital hallways in old movies. I'm thinking it will be at least another two weeks before we can even expect to see any peachicks.
It's spring time in the Carolinas! It's a beautiful morning out there today after a couple of rainy and stormy days. There are five babies now - two in the nest on the bottom row, closest to the camera and three in the nest in the middle row, next to the back wall. If you watch you'll see the moms going in and out of those boxes, or sitting with their heads sticking out as it gets warmer through the day. The babies are starting to get pin feathers now so it won't be long before they will be sticking their heads out of the boxes demanding food! They are keeping their moms and dad very busy between the feeder and the boxes.
I've got one peahen sitting on a nest full of eggs. I'm not sure how many she is sitting on but she's gone good and broody so hopefully we'll get some to hatch. I put some in the incubator last year but didn't have much luck - only two out of about 20 set, so hopefully the mom will do a better job of hatching than I did. I hope I'll get the camera back in time to catch the hatch in progress!
2009.04.30...More camera drama...
We'll be down to the parakeet camera for a little while. One of the new cameras was noticibly hazy so I called the company and I have to send it back for a replacement. It'll be parakeet cam for a while until I get the replacment.
2009.04.26...Back and better than ever...
Bad news is that the technical problems I've been having over the last couple of weeks ended up being a dead camera...the good news is that I now have TWO cameras that will rotate every 30 seconds on the feed. Currently one is aimed at the chicken pen and the other is showing the parakeet aviary.
The parakeets have babies now - two in the nest box on the middle row, the far side and two more in the box on the bottom row, near side. You can watch the moms and dad doing a lot of moving between the boxes and the feeder hanging in the middle.
In the chicken side of life we are now getting at least a dozen eggs per day from the ladies - record has been 22 in one day! It's great to have all the eggs to share with friends. I have about 20 chicks in the brooder who will be moving outside over the next few weeks as they mature a bit and the weather continues to warm.
The peafowl are starting to lay now and our boy is showing off for the ladies non-stop. I'm hoping the company will replace my broken camera and if so will put it out in the peacock pen and add it to the rotation.
That's all the updates for now - hopefully we'll be up and running now without further technical problems!
Sorry for the down time over the last few days. I'm experiencing some techincal problems with the outdoor cam. For now I've got the indoor cam trained on the parakeet aviary so the site will be kept up at least. The parakeets are in full-on nesting mode and two nest boxes have moms sitting on eggs. The middle box down on the right side and the lower level left side box are the ones with hens sitting. I hope to have my chicken cam issues resolved very soon and get back to regular programming!
2009.04.14...We're back online!
PC resource issues meant that the ChickNCam has been offline more than online over the past few days. I'm glad to report issues are resolved and we are back to our normal broadcast day - Eastern US daylight hours.
2009.03.13...Winter, Spring, Winter
We've had crazy weather over the past couple weeks here. Last Monday was snow, and today it's over 70 degrees. The snow did a number on the netting that is stretched over the chicken run. I was able to do some emergency repairs that next day and spend some time this past weekend making more secure repairs to make sure nobody got out and no unwanted visitors can get in. I also got the coop and nest boxes cleaned out and ready for the spring.
I haven't been collecting eggs often over the last couple months - we were only getting a very few eggs per day and many were freezing solid before I could collect them. Now that the daylight hours are growing longer and longer the egg production has picked way up. I'm getting around 10 eggs per day, give or take. I did discover I have at least one egg eater in the flock. I've been collecting at least 2x per day to get to the eggs first - hopefully I'll be able to beat the offender to the eggs before they get a chance to peck them!
The peafowl are really revving up for spring also. One of these days I'll get around to moving the cam over to the peapen. Our peacock is really starting to dance for his ladies and his tail has grown back in nicely after the winter moult. Happy spring!
2009.02.27...Wow...been a long time....
It's been a long time since my last update! Not too much to report from the chicken coop. We're still enjoying the meaties from the freezer. It's been long dreary winter days lately but the daffodils are starting to bloom so spring can't be too far away. I'm thinking about whether to place an order for some more egg layers for this spring - haven't decided yet whether to expand the flock or not, but I am going to have to decide soon if I'm going to get any chicks grown out before fall. I definately will be ordering chicks - don't want to deal with too many unwanted roosters. I have about 4 too many as it is! Until later...thanks for checking out Chick-N-Cam!
2009.01.04...Happy New Year from Chick-N-Cam!
I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!!
2008.12.14...Meaties have gone to freezer camp...
We are down 30 birds at our backyard farm. A good friend came up on Saturday morning and helped us process the 23 meat birds plus the 7 spare ameraucana roosters yesterday. We started about 10:30 and worked straight through until about 4 and it was c-c-c-c-oo--oo-ll-d! I don't think we got out of the 40s all day, but at least we didn't have to worry about keeping the meat chilled and flying insects. Now the kids have a great 'how we spent our weekend' story for school this week... wonder if there is a 'chicken processing' badge they can get for boy scouts??
At any rate, it wasn't the most fun Saturday I've ever spent, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated, and all the help was wonderful. We ate one of them for Sunday dinner today, as we had one more than would fit in the freezer, and he was yummy! And, while buying the chicken on sale at the store would be cheaper, we definately have a greater appreciation for how our food is grown and processed, so it's been a worthwhile learning experience!
2008.12.06...One week to go...
Weather permitting, the meaties will go to freezer camp next Saturday. They are already starting to show the signs of cardiac insufficiency - purplish combs - and are so big they can hardly waddle around now. They are eating through about 15 pounds of food daily, and drink a LOT of water. It will be nice to have them in the freezer to feed US rather than us having to feed THEM.
2008.11.11...What's with the night light?...
If you are tuning in after dark US eastern time (about 6pm) you'll notice the night light. It's for the meaties, who got moved out of their brooder to their own enclosure over the weekend. They seem very happy to have more room and they are really growing fast now! About 3-4 more weeks and we'll have some birds in the freezer.
Wishing everyone a safe a happy halloween - don't accept any rotten eggs in your candy basket!
2008.10.14...Updates from the coop...
Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted an update! School has started and between homework, increased church activities and my work schedule it's been hectic.
The biggest update to our flock is one that you can't see on the webcam. We have 20+ cornish cross meat birds in the brooder, growing them out for a mid-December processing. Those little beasts are eating machines, nasty looking and STINK! There will be no problem with getting overly attached to those guys.
2008.09.07...Not much new here...
Not much news from the coop here. We are getting about 12-18 eggs per day on average, at least most days. Anyone need eggs?? The summer is winding down now and school is already back in session - now sure where this summer went! Next up is our order of meat birds, due to arrive in a couple weeks (do I have the brooder ready yet.....not...)
2008.08.15...New Egg Record!
Collected 18 eggs today! A new all time high record...Woot!!
2008.08.13...Rainy Days and Wednesdays
It's a rainy day here in central NC - not the typical thunderboomer-downpour rain, but a nice slow, steady rainy day. We need the rain I suppose. Enjoy watching the birds - half of them are hiding out under the coop, and the rest are wandering around like they don't even know it's raining. Silly chickens!
2008.08.08...Latest news from the coop...
August is here, and the hot weather continues! Today is a bit of a break, but it's sure been hot out there this week! The chickens seem to take it all in stride - lots of shady spots, dust bathing and fresh water does the trick, I suppose. While heat can lower output from the girls, we've hit a few new 'all time highs' on egg counts this week - 14 on Wednesday and 15(!) on Thursday. Before noon today we already have 10 eggs collected - go girls!
We were having a problem with finding broken and half eaten eggs in the boxes recently. One day there were at least 4 eggs pecked and eaten. Egg eating by a chicken is a VERY hard habit to break...I had my suspicions that it was one or more of the the three remaining Dark Cornish girls. After finding more eggs broken last Friday, I decided enough was enough (and I was having a chicken nugget craving...) So I processed the last three a week ago, and haven't had an egg eaten since...so I think my suspicions were right! The kids were good sports about it all, and volunteered to help. And we all enjoyed a meal of chicken nuggets with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy...yum yum!
After my tentative forays into processing our excess chickens, and enjoying the tasty meat they have provided, I've decided to jump in and raise a set of Cornish X broilers. They are on order for the middle of September, which will mean a late November processing date. I've gone in on the order with another BYC'r, so at least we'll be doing the processing together! These CornishX are big fat eating machines - should be interesting to compare them to the more slow-growing heritage breeds that we have in the chicken run.
2008.07.28...Head counts?? & our first processing day...
Well it's still hot as blazes around here! The chickens are handling the heat well - lots of cool water and shade seems to really help keep everyone as cool as possible. When I hear of other chicken-ers having losses from the heat, it makes me glad that I've got my girls over in the shady part of the yard...even if it makes for some harsh shadows sometimes on the ChickNCam.
Someone asked me a week or so ago how many chickens I actually have. I wasn't exactly sure, but figured WAAAYYY less than 50...then I got to thinking and counting. Let's see...hmmm...8 girls from the first batch, 8 girls still here from the hatching done last year...5 silkies...15 Ameraucanas that are three months old now...5 more silkies hatched out from our own eggs...AND the 8 left from the TSC assorted pullet bin. That makes 51 if my brain is adding right. Sigh...
We did whittle our 10 TSC pullets down to 7 girls plus the one roo. Five of those chicks ended up being meat birds so we fufilled their destiny a couple weekends ago and had chicken and dumplings with our own raised chicken meat. It really gives you a unique perspective on your food when you go through the whole process of raising them from chicks, growing them out, and then ending their life for your dinner table. If anything it makes me appreciate the food we take for granted every day - what is sacrificed so that we can eat well here in the good ole USA. I am thankful that we were able to process the birds for their bred and intended purpose, but that didn't make it any easier. They say the first time you process is the worst, but it actually wasn't too bad once the 'dispatchig' part was completed. I'm looking to the fall to go in with another BYC'r in the area to raise a small batch of birds strictly as meat chickens. There is a great deal of pride that goes into raising your own food, whether it is tomatoes from your garden or meat from your chicken pen. We still have 3 of the cornish hens that will be processed in the next couple of weeks. At least I know that our birds lived a full and happy life with the sun on their faces and the grass under their feet, and met a quick and as humane as possible end - which is more than can be said for the chickens that end up on grocery store shelves.
As far as the rest of their pullet age-mates, I think we have finally started getting more eggs from them. I got a record 13! eggs this week one day! I took 8 dozen eggs to church on Sunday and it was great to be able to share our bounty with our church family!
2008.07.12...Do I hear crowing?
I can't believe we are already almost half way through July! Time is surely flying by and it will be fall again before we know it.
We've had a lot of new crowing at our house this past week. One of the 10 chicks we picked out of the 'Assorted Pullet' bin at the farm supply store ended up being a beautiful Australorp rooster. You may see him strutting around - he's the tall black one with the long tail. He's quite a handsome rooster and starting to mature a bit and has discovered his voice. Thankfully he's not an obsessive crower, and seems to be co-existing quite peacefully with Dusky, the Silkie rooster. Hopefully that will continue and he will be able to stay with our urban flock!
The Ameraucana chicks are now almost 10 weeks old. Of the 15, I know for sure we have at least 5 roosters and some of them have discovered their little raspy voices. It's so funny to hear them creak out a little crow. But, we can't have TOO many crowers, so they will most all have to go...
2008.07.02...Hatching & General Updates
The heat wave continues here, but afterall, it is NC and July! The button quail have been moved out into the parakeet aviary and are acclimating to life out of the brooder. They will be four weeks old this weekend and they start laying around 7-8 weeks. Instant gratification!
We've got one peachick and FIVE silkies so far out of the latest rounds of eggs set. Boy, are those peachicks hard to hatch! But at least we have one looking good right now, and several eggs developing nicely that are due in a couple weeks. Dusky's babies are just adorable, of course! So far we have three dark ones and two that look like little chipmunks. So we have at least TWO of the girls laying fertile eggs!
Finally, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day! Take a moment to remember those who have sacrificed so that we can live in this wonderful country!
2008.06.27...Did someone turn on the heat?
Boy, oh boy, it's HOT out there today. The thermometer on the chicken coop says 98 and it's muggy too. I've turned the camera to the rear of the chicken pen today - the chickens are all hiding in the shady spots. I can't say as I blame them one bit!
I've finally gotten the cam moved back over to the chicken run. I've changed the angle on it a bit from before so you can see more close-up chicken action. Also you can see the baby grow out pen (they have their own playhouse...) where we just moved our 15 6wk old purebred Ameraucanas today. They are totally bewildered to be outside for the first time today! They'll adjust quickly I know.
In other chicken news, we have our fingers crossed that Dusky, our silky roo, will be a father soon! We test incubated one silkie egg and it was fertile, and it went into the hatcher yesterday. Friday is the due date - hopefully all will go well and we'll see a new baby silkie soon!
The button quail that hatched out last week are doing well. They will be two weeks on Sunday/Monday and are STILL the tinest little things! They do have their grown up feathers coming in already and are so cute. One of these days I'll get me another cam to put in our parakeet aviary, where the buttons will live as little vacuum cleaners to help keep wasted seed to a minimum.
That's the update for now...
2008.06.12...A mere shadow of his former glory.
If you notice my peacock looks a bit ragged today, there is a reason. It's the time of year for them to drop their tail feathers. I noticed a couple feathers in the yard a day ago, so figured it was time to pull the rest of them. Pulling the tail feathers doesn't hurt the bird - the feathers are already very loose and ready to fall out anyway - and it keeps the feathers from being dropped in the pen and soiled. I'll be moving the camera back over to the chicken run as soon as I get a chance to do that.
In other news, we ended up with 10 button quail out of the 30+ eggs. Not a great hatch rate, but considering I had several bit temp spikes and then the power and light bulb went out the day of the hatch and cooled the eggs down to room temp for a period of time, I am happy with the 10. They mature so fast, they'll be laying eggs of their own in just a couple months...instant gratification!
2008.06.07...Button Quail Hatch-cam!
The cam is in the incubator again for a batch of button quail. They are SOOOO Tiny!! We've got 30+ eggs and so far 3 babies out!
2008.06.07...Camstreams is back!
Camstreams recovery....as you may or may not be aware, camstreams experienced a server hit due to power failure and had to restore their database from several weeks back, so updates since the end of April were lost. We're back on line now though! Thanks Camstreams for getting back up and running so quickly!
2008.04.29...They are FERTILE!
I set 6 peahen eggs on the 19th and began the long wait until I could candle to see if there was any developement...and finally on the 27th.....veining in all 6! So the ladies DO find the peacock appealing after all!
I've got development in 23 Ameruacauna eggs too, so we should have lots of fun hatching viewing startig next week sometime.
2008.04.16...It's SPRING and hatching time again!
Hope you have been enjoying watching our peacock strut his stuff. If you've tried to view and missed us lately, it's because we've had internet problems off and on over the plast week, but HOPEFULLY the cable company has finally come through to stabilize my high speed connection so the feed should be up most of the time.
In other news... the bator is full again with lovely GREEN chicken eggs. I'm hoping for a good hatch and will put the hatch-cam up when we start getting pips. They are due to hatch out around May 5th. We also have 3! peahen eggs so far. They have finally started to lay and hopefully we will have fertile eggs. I'll be putting them in the bator to test fertility as soon as I can get a couple more collected.
Nothing like warm weather and spring time babies!
2008.04.07...Huh?? Those are some MIGHTY big chickens..??!!??
Nope...those are our peafowl! I've moved the camera over to the peafowl pen as it is breeding season and our peacock is determined to make a good impression on his ladies. We have two peahens and one peacock, and our gentleman is doing all he can to entice the girls. He is displaying now all throughout the day, but especially during the late afternoon and early evening.
Our chicken girls will be back once breeding season is done and our peacock goes back to being quiet and boring again!
2008.03.25...Where did all the chickens go?...Part 2
With SPRING in the air around here and the grass growing beautifully, we are letting the chickens free range out into the larger fenced-in backyard sometimes. I'm hoping they will not only enjoy the abundant grass and goodies in the back yard, but also give their yard some time to recover from a winter of scratching and foraging chickens. So...if you miss the big girls, they may just be out and about in the back yard.
2008.03.12...Where did all the chickens go?
You may notice a sharp reduction in the number of chickens wandering around the pens. Two of the boys went to a fellow BYCr who lives in the next little town over, and the other 8 were delivered to another BYCr who lives in Eastern TN. We had a great time this past weekend taking a mini-trip with the kids to Ashville and over to TN to meet up to get the baby roos to their new mamma. Hope they are behaving! At least their neighbors won't mind the crowing. We did keep one roo - Dusky - one of the silkies. He is doing all the crowing we need - at least it's only for a little while in the morning, and ONLY when the sun is up.
2008.02.26...Integrating the Flock & A CROW!
We moved the baby Buff Orps into the larger area with the big girls this week. While they have had a few squabbles working out the pecking order, it's gone reasonably smoothly and it's MUCH more room for everyone! You can see the Buff Orps easily on the cam - they are the ones that are completely golden in color. There are 7 among the big girls. Four are baby roos that will be going to another home, and the other three will be staying as permanent residents.
I heard the first crow today - from Blackie the silkie cockerel. While it's been fun to watch these guys grow up, unfortunately we won't be able to keep all these roosters in our flock long term. We've got WAY too many roosters for the number of girls and there would be constant fighting. 4 of the 7 Buff Orps are boys, 2 of the 7 Barred Rocks, and 5 of the 9 Silkies. The usual ratio of roosters to hens is about 1 rooster for every 8-10 hens. More than that and there is usually a lot of fighting and too much attention for the ladies. I'm hopeful we've got them a new home and will be meeting up to deliver them in the next couple weeks. I'm sure the neighbors AND the girls will be glad! 11 roosters in a flock of 22 would not go over very well with either the neighbors OR the chicken girls!!
Wow, didn't realize it'd been so long since an update! We are averaging about 3.5 dozen eggs a week now from the 8 big girls! It's great to be able to share eggs with friends and family, not to mention our weekly 'egg' dinner courtesy of our chickens!
The baby chickens are all doing well. A couple weeks ago 4 of the Barred Rock babies went to a new home with a fellow BYC'er from the Raleigh area, so we're down to 7 BOs, 7BRs and 9 silkies in the small pen. The babies are growing really fast now, and we'll be moving the ones that will be staying with us long-term into the coop with the big girls in a couple weeks. I did take some time this past week to raise up the small pen's ChickNBarn on stilts. When the barn was on the ground, it was very hard to clean, but now it is much easier with the wire floor and it being elevated. It's taken a week of literally putting the chickens to bed to get them used to going up the ramp, but I think they are FINALLY starting to get the hang of it on their own.
In other poultry news...we have added a trio of peafowl to our menagerie. Unfortunatly their run is out of camera range, but if the tax man is nice to me, maybe I can get another camera for their area soon!
First,the sad news...Hoppy the one legged chicken did not survive the recent cold snap. For details you can check out my blog link above. In other news, the chicks from the brooder have moved out in the silkie pen. The camera will be on the outside view now 24x7, although there won't be much to see during night hours, eastern US time...
Whoo-ooo! The girls cam through for us today! egg!!
2008.01.07...Happy New Year!...
Happy New year to everyone! The weather here has gone from 17 degrees two days ago, to 70 this afternoon - crazy! The silkie babies handled the cold just fine with the heat lamp in their coop. They are growing really fast now. You can seem them in the smaller pen during the day when the broadcast is of the outdoor chicken pen.
The Barred rock and Buff Orp babies are now almost three weeks old. I've had to split them into two separate brooders as 19 chicks in one brooder left little room for anything else! The inside cam is on after around 6pm eastern and is pointed to the 'hen pen' for now.
Finally, we are STILL waiting for eggs from the big girls. They are now 22 weeks and counting....it can't be TOO much longer...can it??
The Silkie babies moved out to the ChickNBarn today. It's a beautiful warmish sunny day and the weather man is not calling for any freezing temps for the next week or so. Hopefully this will be a permanent move unless we have any bitterly cold weather in the next couple of weeks. They are having a blast scratching and stretching their wings!
2007.12.25...A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!...
Merry Christmas to you and yours! Santa brought my present early and the new outdoor cam is installed and running. If you tune in during the daytime hours (East Coast, USA) you may see the big girls outside OR the brooder.
The chicks are growing fast now. They have their baby feathers coming in and are beginning to believe they can fly. It won't be long until they will have to go on lockdown with a cover for their brooder to keep them from flying all over the house.
Hope you all enjoyed the hatch watch! Final count is 19 happy chicks. I've moved the cam over to the brooder so you can watch them do their cute chick things. There's one guy with a touch of splayed leg and you might see her hop by with her bandaid brace on. The yellow chicks are Buff Orpingtons and the Black chicks are Barred Rocks. They have a LOT of growing to do!
2007.12.19...On Hatch Watch...day 3...
Day 22....10am - we have 8 Barred Rock babies and 2 Buff Orps on the ground. Most of the other eggs have at least pipped - stay tuned thoughout the day to see more hatches!
2007.12.18...On Hatch Watch...day 2...
Day 21....noon - I hear cheeping!!
11:30am....two pips - the eggs just behind the pink water wiggler!
8am eastern....nothing yet....
2007.12.17...On Hatch Watch...
The webcam is focused on the incubator at the moment. It's day 20 and we're expecting pips and zips any time now. Keep checking back and see the babies coming out as it happens! If the view is very bright looking, it's because the light bulb in the incubator is on - once the light cycles off, the view will improve...
2007.12.15...Silkie update and an change in view coming next week!
All the silkie babies are doing great - even Hoppy seems to finally be growing with her extra times at the food dish. Since the weather here has been so unseasonably warm, the babies did get several afternoons this week out in the big pen to enjoy the warm sun. It's back to December weather now, so their outdoor time will be limited for another few weeks while they finish feathering out and are ready to handle the colder temps. They will be 5 weeks on Dec 18th and are really starting to work out the pecking order. You might even catch them neck wrestling from time to time.
Starting early next week I'll be moving the webcam into one of my incubators for hatching fun. I've got 26 eggs due to hatch out sometime starting Monday - Wednesday of next week. Check back early next week and see if you catch the eggs hatching!
2007.12.08...Did you miss us?
If you tuned in earlier today, you may have wondered where the silkies were. They had their first outing today! It was too nice outside to keep them cooped up in the brooder. It got up to over 70 degrees here today, so off to the ChickNRun we went with our silkies in hand. They had such a good time scratching around in the grass and pecking at EVERYTHING. It's an awfully big world when you are only 5" high! They are all sacked out in the brooder now - everyone is totally tired out after their exciting day.
Lots of people are following the progress of Hoppy, the famous one legged chick. I've been worried about his/her progress, and decided that the suggestion to separate Hoppy for part of the day to get some one-on-one time with the feed would help boost growth and energy. I'm very glad to report that today Hoppy got his/her crop filled SEVERAL times and I'v discovered the trick - moist feed! I'm hopeful that we'll continue to see improvement. So, if you miss Hoppy, it is probably just feedin' time!
Looks like our crookneck problem was due to a bump or peck on the head. She is doing much better today - basically back 100%. The brooder got a complete litter change and cleaning this morning and now the babies are having fun sorting through the new pine shavings. You might even catch one taking a pseudo dust bath in the shavings - too cute!
2007.11.28...2 Weeks Old!
The chicks are two weeks old now, as of yesterday! Their wing feathers are coming in and they are starting to work out the 'pecking' order. You may just see them doing their strut and flying at each other. It's sort of funny to watch these babies trying to do the big-chicken things!
We have another chick not doing as well...maybe we should set up another brooder for our 'misfits'. One of the partridge chicks has a crookneck problem, probably due to an injury from one of the other chicks' beaks. And of course, Hoppy is still hopping around - not gaining weight as quickly as I would like to see, but still eating and drinking well.
I've made a few adjustments to the stream settings so the image is a bit clearer - hopefully you'll get a clearer view of the brooder!