Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chick & chicken update

Happy Saturday!

Life goes on here at Razzberry Corner.  Mama hen Charlotte still doesn't accept the 3 reject chicks.  I put all 10 chicks together every day & separate the mama from them, but allow her to see them all.  Sometimes they're in the coop (if it's raining outside) or sometimes they're outside.   The 3 rejects needed interaction with the other chicks.  Since I've started this, the 3 are now developing normally and are acting so very much better.  I think Little Red (a Rhode Island Red) chick is going to survive! 

Little Red and the other 2 reject chicks
Little Red on her side of the fence, a couple red sex-link pullets in the adult chicken pen
Little Red's one of my favorites, of course, because I love an underdog. She's doing so well, I'm so happy for her now.  I really wasn't sure she was going to live back when she stopped eating.  She took the rejection from the mother hen very hard.  I put a little stuffed moose in her pen and forced her to sleep underneath the floppy antlers.  In the beginning she could hardly stand and would just lay under the antler.  The 2 other chicks followed her lead and snuggled under the moose antler's too, not realizing she was just weak/exhausted and wasn't starting a trend of where to sleep.  Eventually Little Red got strong enough to stand up and liked to stand on the back of the moose and the other 2 followed along.  Now, after a long day of playing in the pen, Little Red runs to the moose and tucks herself up under the floppy antlers happily.  It's very cute.  That's her mama moose.

Little Red

 My other favorite chick has been named Big Bird, and is from an egg of Big Bonnie, the shelter hen. 

Big Bonnie, molting

 Big Bird is huge, compared to the other chicks.  

Big Bird

But his mother is huge, too.  And he's growing a comb.  

Big Bird and his big comb

Possible rooster alert!  Big Bird is one of the elite 7 chicks who mama loves.  But Big Bird looks similar to one of the 3 rejects and sometimes, if mama's in a very bad mood, she attacks Big Bird.  Big Bird is very independent and likes to be alone.  He's also very observant, noticing everything.  The other chicks don't pay attention to things like Big Bird does.  Funny how chicks have personalities.

Mama Charlotte in a cage in the chick pen, separating her from the chicks so she wont hurt the 3 rejects
Big Bird, on the right, is intently watching Brindle cat who's up on the chicken coop roof.  None of the other chicks even noticed the cat up there.

Last night mama Charlotte got confused at bed time and started attacking Big Bird by mistake, mistaking it for one of the 3 rejects.  I was putting the chicks to bed in the coop and heard her screaming inside, I didn't expect her to attack Big Bird, he's an elite chick, so I had BB in with her to sleep under her wings for the night.  Anyway, BB took a beating from mama hen.  I ran in & grabbed her & BB.  BB was standing with it's face hidden in a corner and mama hen attacking him from behind.  I didn't see any open wounds on BB, but he was screaming bloody murder.  I put BB with the 3 rejects & the moose until it got pitch black and everyone was sleeping except for BB, who was then screaming for his mama, he still loved her and wanted to sleep with her.  So I went back out & snuck BB under mama hen's wing and she accepted him again.  Mama Charlotte is having a tough time these days being a mother. 

We now have 2 roosters, after the loss of Leggy.  They are Muffin, an Americauna, and an unnamed silver laced wyandotte cockerel. 

Muffin the rooster

silver laced wyandotte cockerel

The silver laced wyandotte is such a sissy.  If anyone looks at him funny he pops up in the air and runs away.  He's been practicing his crow - he has a very deep voice.  He's a large bird with long legs - very tall.  I wonder if he'll turn into a good rooster.  Muffin will always be lead rooster as long as he's able.  But he's 3.5 years old now, a new young strong rooster may try to take over Muffin's turf.  We'll see.

Muffin in foreground, un-named rooster in background, white leghorn pullet on right

 And now Big Bird is a possible budding roosterette.  It'll be a long time before he grows up to an adult rooster, but maybe he'll be a keeper.  Although, thinking about it, I don't really want a huge & heavy rooster, a big rooster could hurt the smaller hens when mating...

The chickens have started explosion molting, including Mama Charlotte.  Maybe that's adding to Mama Charlotte's bad mood these days.  Feathers are everywhere in the chicken pen - it looks like a bunch of feather pillows were emptied out there!  I'll have to start raking them up.  I like the chickens molting early like this, as it's still hot out.  This way they'll have their new coats grown in in time for winter.

Gold-laced wyandotte pullet
Brindle cat walked all over the roof of the chicken pen and the chicken coop this morning.  Only Muffin and Big Bird were upset about this occurrence.   I tell you, Big Bird is a budding cockerel!


Watching the chicks from above

Have a nice weekend!


Farm Girl said...

There is never a dull moment in the chicken yard. I think B.B. is a huge chick. Are you going to every let Charlotte hatch chicks again?
My chickens are starting to explosion molt too. I am so glad the orphan chicks are doing so much better and I think the story of the moose and little red is so cute.
Have a nice weekend

12Paws said...

Thanks for this delightful entertaining post. Love your chicken stories.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I really get a kick out of a chicken snuggling up with a moose! And I'm amazed that you could put Big Bird back in with mama after she was so mean to it. I guess as long as it was so dark she didn't really care but was she surprised in the morning?