TT #2 - Da Puppy and Da Chickens
I’m not at all sure that this newest puppy isn’t killing the chickens. If she is, I may have to find her a new home. She’s a total sweetheart otherwise, much more affectionate than her sister ever has been. But STUBBORN. She will not come when called. And both dogs are really weird around food…and the cat.
I don’t know how much of this is that I’m not home as much as I have been in the past when I was raising puppies, and how much would happen any way. Also, it’s my first time with Great Pyrenees and they are unlike any other breed I’ve spent time with. They are mixes, so that might be a factor too.
Last night someone attacked a Salmon Faverolles hen, she’s missing feathers but seems okay otherwise. Traumatized, but okay.
Time will tell.
Anyway, I’m not entirely sure that it’s her…but I have my suspicions.
As an aside, I put the hen in with a couple of little chicks and one immediately jumped on her back nestled in and went to sleep. Hatchery chicks, they are hard wired animals, they know a mama hen, even if they have never seen a grown hen before. It’s amazing really. The hen could easily kill the chick, but she’s kind of adopted it, so far.
Again, Time will tell.
Chick Hatchery is Ideal Poultry
Lost 65 of 81 chicks. Ideal is replacing them for me. They have been irritated by how long the claim has been going on, but I didn’t want to settle the matter while chicks were still dying in droves. This morning there was only one dead baby. But some of the remaining don’t seem all that vigorous.
TT#3 - Knee Deep in Dead chicks
So, I ordered a shit ton of chicks from a hatchery. They arrived 2/7 as planned. And they have been dropping like flies ever since. Part of the problem is that the hatchery shipped the birds during the winter vortex and the birds got chilled. Also, some jackhole in the postal service apparently decided that the birds were hungry and poured in a bunch of what appears to be taco Doritos chips into the crate for them to eat.
I’ve gone back and forth with the hatchery and they are replacing the birds, but this has been a horrible experience. 4-6 chicks are dying every day.
I’ve lost 3/4 of the total order.
My chicks top, a gorgeous adult ©Showmesilkies I’m hoping to have a couple with light beards like this one, many have a black beard.
The Brabanter is a Dutch breed of chicken originating in the historic region of Brabant which straddles Belgium and the Netherlands. In a few paintings from the 1670s by Dutch artist Melchior d’Hondecoeter, appear what would seem to be Brabanters. The original form of the Brabanter nearly went extinct in the early 20th century. The few remaining birds were interbred with their close relative, the Dutch Owlbeard, and the breed was recreated by 1920. credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brabanter
Craigslist Folks are Weird…
The guy who picked up a bunch of baby chicks tonight had the WORST sense of direction. I’m Rand McNally by comparison. First, I gave him really simple directions, 5S to 210E, 1st exit, make a right, park your car. ‘
He got lost.
Then he drove around in the rain for an hour. Finally he chose a dark parking lot off a super busy street where he wasn’t visible. He gave me an address but I couldn’t see it in the dark, especially in the rain, in traffic. There were 7 Taco trucks visible in a two block radius by where he stopped, he describes the only one NOT illuminated. (It was a churro truck?)
It turned out he was directly across the street from MY local feed store, but didn’t mention that. He kept giving me obscure references. Well, there’s a liquor store down the street, but it’s closed. Dude, it’s 7pm in the dark, in the rain, give me something I can see!
When he was heading home I had to drive him in front of him to lead him to the freeway entrance, and then while I’m gesturing wildly for him to turn, he ignores the big green signs and continues to follow me, so I have to make a U-turn and try again. On the 3rd pass he finally calls to ask if he needed to turn onto the freeway. Oy!
Hope he’s a better chicken Dad than a driver. lol
SAT 6 FOR HATCHING DAY!
- 7 chicks hatched overnight! More pipping…I hope to get 20 total.
- 2 chicks were even from the incubator that was unplugged.
- There will be photos. Shut up, all chicks do not look the same.
- I have to remind myself, I’M NOT KEEPING THESE CHICKS.
- Still, I’ve been trying to figure out what the chick’s parentage is. They are first generation from my flock - so my roosters, my hens. I can’t squelch that biology-phile part of me that is fascinated with genetics.
- I have chicks arriving on Friday THAT I PURCHASED. Seriously, I know chicks are like potato chips but one has to eventually stop eating them. Right?! Right? right? sigh.
- BAWK. How’s your Saturday going?
Incubators, you’re killing me!
I came home tonight to two frigid chicks and a 70 degree incubator. Just as a reference, below 100 degrees, chicks die. The chicks were still alive however and I rushed them under the heater in a brooding pen.
I came back and discovered that the power strip was off. I turned it back on — I believe the dogs turned it off by stepping on it as they wreaked mayhem on a couple of hens that probably wandered into the house looking for food. The dogs bashed the back door open, leaving them a way in. There was poop everywhere and I’m down a few birds — no remains or anything — which is weird. Nonetheless, NOT what one wants to come home to after a 12-hour day at work.
The secondary incubator, in the utility room had two chicks already hatched out and a bunch that were pipping - that’s chicken talk for breaking through the shell. Hatching is a chore. Each chick is born with an egg “tooth” which allows them to cut around the diameter of an egg and pop off the top. Then they drag their sorry asses out, where they flop onto the tarmac (as it were) and rest. Then little by little they dry off and become the cute chicks you see in photos. That can take several hours. or a day, maybe two.
There’s still a LOT that can go wrong.
There are chicks cheeping in both incubators, so who knows what will hatch. The eggs in the main incubator were cold to the touch, and I assumed that they were all dead, but maybe not, as there is chirping tonight coming from a life within. We’ll see.
Friday Morning, early
I’m sitting here in the dark at 4:30am listening to a rooster crow, and an unhatched chick in the incubator cheeping.
I have a meeting with HR at 8AM to sign up for benefits. I qualified Jan 1, but the HR woman is retiring today after 14 years and I need a bit of hand holding — having provided my own benefits for more than 20 years. She finally agreed that I should meet with someone else.
It was supposed to rain today but, nope. We got some heavy mist last night. I used my windshield wipers for the first time in ages and could kiss the mechanic that changed out the wiper blades for me. They work perfectly and silently for the first time, ever. I’ve spent the better part of 10 years having to look over/under the unclear space in the middle.
Gotta get out and feed/water the critters.
It’s Friday. Make it work. Don’t phone it in.
Truthful Thursday #2
On a happier note, there’s at least one chick still in the shell that has been “talking” to me, probably a Salmon Faverolles since they are chatty things. I’ll say Hey Chick Chick, and it cheeps back. I’m hoping it will have hatched by the time I get home today, and isn’t using all of it’s strength to communicate instead. :)
I’ve moved my chicken drivel
You’ll still see some I’m sure, but I moved the bulk here:
I’ve met quite a few local chicken keepers via Craigslist but yesterday’s interaction was a first.
I was perusing the Farm + Garden section, as one does, and there was a posting from a local person looking to piggy-back a chick order onto someone’s order, at Ideal Poultry. This is a smart move as they only want 3 chicks and the minimum order at Ideal is 25 birds. If you order less, the industry’s response is to add roosters ‘for warmth’ to pad out the order and ensure the safe arrival of your birds. This can be a little overwhelming. Also, it’s expensive for shipping, etc.
I had just ordered chicks from Ideal a few hours earlier.
I sent over a note.
That started a conversation with the engaging, Jonathon.
Breed? Pullets? Inoculated? Was the ship date doable? Once I ascertained the basics, I called Ideal and easily added three Standard Buff Cochins to my order.
Jonathon asked me to see if Ideal would mark the birds if I requested it. I did. They will. Also good to know for the future given that IDing chicks can be really tough to do.
When I contacted Jonathon afterward, with the news that his birds will ship with mine is early February, his enthusiasm was catching. I had been rather blasé, now, I’m all excited.
It’s always exciting to get new chicks. Potential.
The conversation back and forth has been so much fun.
Jan 12 Reblogged
Two of the 10
Two of the chicks from this week’s hatch. The bright yellow in the background is an Brinsea Eco Glow Heater. It’s ridiculously expensive, but it works and it is much less of a fire risk than a traditional heat lamp.
Not sure of the breeds yet. These will be crosses.
Current Status on a Sunday morning
TT - #2 AMERACAUNA Chicks
These are the chicks that have been keeping me up nights. The black one on the left (a roo?) has been the main culprit. Holy Cannoli can he chirp loud for hours on end?!! Like nails on a chalkboard to my ears.
I got these little ones from a farm in Acton, they will be one week old tomorrow. The woman who hatched them only raises pure-bred Ameracaunas Blue/Black/White/Splash and Wheaten Ameracaunas — as well as Argentine Dogos (a South American Mastiff breed). The woman was nice enough, but she was peculiar in being very precise with her movements. Maybe there’s something to that as my God, these are the calmest chicks (except the shrieking episode) that I’ve ever had.
I hope these chicks grow up to be as beautiful as their parents.
The darker birds will likely end up solid black, the grey chicks may be blue or slate, or gray with splashes of black. Should be interesting.
Brought to you at 3AM, on a Monday
Puppy is awake, again.
Baby chicks who have been silent for the past 12 hours are now shrieking. They have warmth, food and water. I may strap them into a car seat and take them for a drive…
3:30 coyotes howling
4:00 roosters crowing
For the win…
6:30 and I’m off to work
It’s already been a long day…
Monday, yer killin’ me
The JOB of an chick incubator is to hold an even temperature for 21 days so that a fertilized egg can grow to become a chick. That’s its ONLY job. Seriously, everything else I can do myself, gladly.
My new incubator came with two thermometers — the built-in thermometer has a warning that reads “For Reference Purposes Only." The standalone thermometer has the following dubious message. "Please calibrate this thermometers before using against a thermometer you know to be accurate." WTH? Do they think I keep a calibrated thermometer?
Wow, way to take no responsibility for your system being accurate.
Ironically, or maybe not, the two thermometers don’t agree. The reference thermometer reads 99 - 100 degrees, which should be correct, the inserted thermometer reads only 95 degrees when placed as close to the sensor as possible which is too cool. To make the second read 99-100 degrees, the reference goes to 105 which is too hot.
Now I have to go out and buy another thermometer (or maybe a half dozen) and see if they agree with either of the other two.