Monday, June 30, 2014


   The chicks are here! We got the call at 10:10 am on Tuesday. (I was very impressed by this because they hatched on Monday and had to come from Ohio to New Hampshire.) We ran over to the post office as soon as we could and picked them up at 10:30.

    One of my big worries was one of the chicks would die on the trip. However I am happy to say this did not happen and they all arrived safely!

   And so let me introduce...

Nutmeg (Welsummer)

Piper (Easter Egger)

Lizzie (Barred Rock)

Raven (Australorp) 

Daisy (Buff Orpington)

Olive (Golden Comet)

Speckles (Specked Sussex)

Sleepy (Double Laced Barnevelder)
Originally Penny but thanks to an unfortunate early nickname, no one will call her by her real name.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Over Preparing

   The chicks are hatching today, so that means not only am I excited, but really nervous. And when I am nervous, I over prepare. So, over the last couple months I have been doing just that. Over preparing.
   First I made a chart about some of the things to expect when we get the chicks. (Click to zoom in.)

   After that I looked up chick development in the egg. I wrote down what happened each day on a card. I figured out what day the incubation started (count back from hatch day). Then I read the card to my family each morning. This way we could all learn about chick development.

   Also, eight days before the hatch day I made cards about the breeds we are getting (eight days for eight breeds). (I had originally ordered five but, ordered three more after the first chickens passed away.)

   And of course... the brooder! We decided on a modified plastic bin because of its cheapness and ease to clean. We cut out the top and put in screen for ventilation. Then my Mom took me on a chicken shopping spree for the rest of the supplies we needed!

We had to put cardboard in the bottom to make it flat.

Then newspaper and paper towels went in.

   We got a 250 watt red light bulb. I am nervous about the heating but we tested it at the height shown and it was the right temperature. You can also see our thermometer in this picture. It was meant for brooders so it goes to the right temperature.

   Here is our chick feeder and water. The box is where we will put chick grit once they are old enough. (Chick grit is a course sand you give the chicks so they have something to break down their food with.)

   As I said, I over prepare. The chicks will be coming through the mail sometime this week. I can't wait!

Edit: When I first posted this I had a socialization chart. It basically said to leave them alone. I ended up ignoring the chart because D (see first post) told me that you should hold them as much as possible as soon as possible when you get them through the mail. This is what I ended up doing. I will let you know how it goes! 

Monday, June 16, 2014


   One of the many things I love about chickens is the eggs. There is nothing going like going outside, saying hello to your little flock, then opening the coop, and finding a perfect little egg the girls left for you. This was our first egg we got from our chickens. Hazel laid it in August 2010. She was five months old.

   Hazel was our best layer. She laid us six eggs a week and sometimes double yolkers for the for the first year. After that her laying has dropped off to almost none. Her eggs were a light brown, but the darkest of our chickens' eggs.
   Sunny was the second chicken to start laying. She laid her first egg in October of 2010. Her eggs were very light brown. She laid an average amount. About four to six eggs a week.
   Ceci's first egg came in November of that year. Her eggs were very small and white. Ceci only laid about three to four eggs a week. However, she was still laying that amount until her death.
   Julie was the last one of our girls to start laying eggs. She began in December. Her eggs looked a lot like Sunny's but usually a bit pointier. She was also an average layer like Sunny.

    For me they are just pets that happen to lay eggs as a bonus. So, even when the chickens stop laying eggs completely, I will still love them. 

Monday, June 9, 2014


   Ceci was always a little different than the other chickens. She is a Silver Speckled Hamburg.
When all the chicks had yellow legs, she had gray.

When the chickens grew up and they all had yellow eyes, she had dark brown.

   And then there was the tail. We didn't really know what to make of the tail at first. No one in our family had ever seen a tail like that on a chicken...

   She was also the smartest of our chickens. She was always finding a crevice in our fencing to wander the yard. She also loved to make "secret nests". Under sticks and leaves, under bushes, and once at least six eggs under the deck. (I say "at least" because we are not sure we were able to get all the eggs out when we discovered the nest. 'Sigh'.)

   Of course she had to lay them in the very back of the deck. I had to lie on my stomach with the longest-handled shovel I could find. 
   Although she was the most shy and flighty in our flock (she has been known to perch in trees and on the roof), I still loved her and always couldn't wait to see what she would do next. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Foxes and Goodbyes

   Last week when I came home from school (5/27), my Mom had some bad news for me.

   A fox. It had gotten into the chicken's pen. It jumped our two layers of fencing and found a hole in our hawk netting. Hazel was killed. Julie and Ceci where too far gone. (Sunny was killed last year but, that is a story for another time).
   They stole my heart in the four years we had together. I do not know what I will do without chickens. Luckily, the chicks will be hatching in about exactly a month. I loved those chickens more than I ever thought I would or could.