Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

more losses :-(

RIP Dizzy, our awesome white leghorn girl... just a year and a half old, found her cold and stiff on the coop floor Sunday morning - no idea why she died, she seemed fine the day before. Her skin was almost purple, her legs stretched out straight from her body, wings tight on her side, neck bent towards her chest and eyes closed. No broken neck, no signs bodily damage.

Any idea what could have caused her death?

RIP sweet Holly, our gorgeous buff orpington hen (July 18, 2010 - June 22, 2011).

Holly got sick this spring along with quite a few other hens, some sort of pneumonia. Three girls died before I got my hands on penicillin, which didn't eradicate the illness but allowed a return to normal life for the survivors.

Except Holly fell sick again about 3 weeks ago and this time meds didn't do a thing - she stopped eating and drinking and never managed to shake it. After 10 days in isolation I stopped treatment and put her back with her flock so she could have a few nice last days in the sun...

Three days ago she crawled under our back deck and never left.

She was waiting for death, which came and took her away sometime during the night.

Even an expected and in this case a welcomed death for a sick and suffering creature strikes a blow. Holly was our big silly fluffernutter, the cartoon of the flock, gentle as a feather duster but three times cuter.

Not a happy day :-(

Sunday, June 19, 2011

i can haz chicks!

Fourteen chicks, in fact :-D

I love these little stinkers!

Can you spot the breeds?

Monday, June 13, 2011


I came thisclose to rehoming this little brat...

Put her up for sale,
had a guy call and he say he was coming the next morning
to pick her up.

I waited all day, phoned but there was no answer.

Can I tell you how relieved I was for the no-show?

Had a bad, creepy feeling about the guy - 
and I was right.

Took her for sale ads off the innernets
and what do you know -
the jerk showed up on our doorstep
a whole day later
without calling, without apologizing, nothing -
wanting to"pick up his bird".

Like, seriously?!

I told him to get lost!

She's my baby, my responsibility, she's a good healthy girl
and I have to endure her big personality, that's all.

I have one too, I should know better ;-)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my chickens are frying!

Anyone else's flocks suffering in the brutal wet summer heat?

My poor birds... panting like dogs with wings outstretched, even in the shade buried in cool dirt. I try to keep them supplied with fresh cool water, I put a fan in the main coop at night to get some air moving around but still, it's HOT.

I'm collecting hard-boiled eggs from the nesting boxes, LOL!

OK not really, but you get the idea.

A few girls have had a relapse with the lung issue thanks to the heat, one is isolated and on penicillin since she stopped eating and was acting really downbeaten (my sweet buff orpington Holly). The others are still laying and acting fine so I'm leaving them alone.

Gotta get the coop ready for two new girls tomorrow, a white leghorn and a red production hen - both at POL (point of lay). I've gotten hens twice from this breeder before and they're awesome so I'm hoping all goes well this time too.

Yes I have a lot of chickens but not many are regular layers, I'm getting between 14 and 20 eggs a day for almost 60 birds - bad, eh? Yes OK I have baby chicks, pullets too young to lay, old hens past their prime and a handful of roosters, hens in molt and others who just don't lay much at all no matter what.

I have to stress the point that these are my pets, eggs are a side-benefit!

But... people want those pastured (free range) eggs real bad so... I gotta get me more young, ambitious and reliable layers, no?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet the peepers!

It's so hard to take good pics of the wee ones
when they're under a heat lamp!

60W yellow bulb here, hence the yellow hue:

I gave the white crested polish back to my friend
as I was 90% sure he was a roo, and to be honest
we just didn't "click".
So in all there are now 14 babies:
1 three week old white jersey giant, named Doudounne
3 easter eggers
2 salmon faverolles (which are roos according to wing feather... damn!)
4 barred plymouth rocks
3 blue orpingtons
1 splash orpington

Can't wait to see them grow up and be part of the flock!