Raising Baby Chickens: 6 day old chicks

Raising and caring for baby chickens has been pretty easy and fun so far. They are six days old but we have only had them for 4 days, and they have changed so much in that time. The chicks aren’t just cute fluffy puff balls anymore. They are starting to get actual feathers on their wings and their cute little fuzzy butts are turning into funny shaped sparsely feathered ones. But they are still cute.

6 day old chickens

We ran into one issue so far, pasty butt. Sorry no pictures of that. But as you can imagine it doesn’t look good and can’t feel good to them. The issue with pasty butt is that it can block their vent and cause illness or death, due to them backing up. So a little warm water and issue fixed. Curiously the only ones that had it were the plymouth rock chicks. It can be caused from being stressed or over heating. I adjusted the heat lamp and hope that was all they needed. Other than that they have been pretty easy to care for.

6 day old chicken flock

We are trying to make sure we visit them a lot. I wouldn’t mind them being inside so we could socialize them more but our dog Jake is way to curious and would whine the entire time he stared at them. So for now they are in the garage. We plan on having the kids help a lot with the birds and collecting eggs so I want to make sure they are use to us touching them and use to little hands. The two year old, Big D, loves them. My one year old, Little K, is excited about them but doesn’t want to touch them, which is a good thing for now, she is a bit heavy handed and I don’t think it will end well for the birds if she is given free time with them.

6 day old chick plymouth

This weekend our nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch store is having a sale on chicks so we might have a few more to add to the bunch.

Advertisements

Our First Set of Baby Chickens

baby chickens from coastals

We received our first dozen baby chickens this week and we are beyond excited about them. The real excitement was how well Big D took to them. Wanting to get as close as he could and touching them right away. So glad he is a gentle toddler and extremely curious but cautious at the same time. We are still living in city limits so at the moment we are breaking the law – breaking the law, but it’s temporary and we should have them up in our new home in a couple weeks. ¬†For now they are hanging out in a cozy garage and hopefully loving all the attention they are getting.

farm kids first baby chicken

We are starting with 6 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Plymouth Rock hens. We plan to keep adding to our flock once we are outside of the city.

chick rhode island red FHTH

Mini Farm: Chicken Eggs & Snow

When October hit the Pacific Northwest and Washington State, the rains come in and the chickens shut down. We are first time chicken owners and everything since getting them months before has been a first. From trying to construct a beautiful chicken coop to realizing the chickens didn’t care what they lived in, so we adapted and build something strong. But when the chickens stopped laying eggs completely we were a little unprepared.

free range chicken eggs

eggs from 5 different hens

Thanks to google, friends and some quick reads The Soldier hooked the chicken coop up with a light set to a timer giving them 14 hours of warm light every day.

Organic all natural eggs

amazing eggs in a crocheted bowl

We are now getting 3 eggs a day from our four ladies and let me tell you that is 1000x better then nothing.

The great part of having your own egg laying hens… seeing all the hard work you put into protecting them and feeding them live food (to free-ranging while on coyote watch) result in the most beautiful deep yellow/orange yolks you will ever see.

cracked egg

Oops, photo taking accident. But look at that vibrant egg yolk and clear “whites”

We are so happy our ladies got back into the swing of things and winter has been conquered for our first year of chickens. Now if I can get the ladies to hold still long enough I might have pictures of them to share.

I am sure there is a lot of debate over whether you should alter a chickens natural cycle. I agree that nature should take its course and we should accept what we get. But on the flip side of that, with every day that goes by that an egg or 3 are not produced, is a day that we dumped food and shelter down the drain. It cost money to keep them safe and feed. For us that means they create a debt to be paid.

Do you keep chickens? Do you supplement light?

Mini Farm: A Hen and a Coyote Meet

The last week of the year went out with a flash of feathers and you better believe I am still Pissed!

I was finishing up my day at work when The Soldier calls to tell me Big Momma, our New Hampshire Red chicken was missing. His exact words were, Big Momma Is Gone. I was panicked and then sad. I thought she had met the Owl that had taken up residence in the field near our house.

He soon called me back with news I knew was coming but was hoping I could live in a nice calm mini farm world for a little while longer. The Soldier explained that he played back the days events from our cameras around the house. At 2:00pm The chickens were let out to free range around our property eating all the bugs and grass that could scratch up. Then at 3:30pm Trees shake, chickens fly and big momma who was our biggest hen and the heaviest was not fast enough or high enough to escape.

coyote image courtesy of National Geographic

On my way home from work. Sitting in traffic I started to get angry and then sad and I began to cry. I cried because she died scared, because I was angry that this small beast came into my world and wrecked it. I cried because now my dogs wouldn’t be able to roam that yard like they did and because everything would change.

But soon after getting home to see feathers still fresh and floating around my yard I was back to my fighting self and ready to take back my yard and my tears. Big Momma deserved that much and so did the rest of the critters in our life.

coyote image courtesy of National Geographic

Coyote, you will not know what hell you have unleashed until I see you again.

How to get rid of a Coyote? Legal or …