Category Archives: Chick Photos

Lesson 787 – Civilization and nesting boxes

For those of you who think you need a nesting box for each of your birds (because, after all, you are a civilized chicken farmer), I give you this:

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It’s kind of like one of those brain teasers puzzles – count the triangles in this picture. Please note the lack of privacy curtains, bucolic paintings on the wall, and obligatory glass of ice chips. Continue reading

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Lesson 782 – The ongoing saga of whether it’s Mr. or Mrs.

My two maran chicks are only a few weeks old and while there is only one way to absolutely know for sure (wait until the cock crows) I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mrs. Bucket appears to be more of a Mr. Bucket. Here’s why

The stance.

This is probably the biggest indicator for me of whether a chick is a male or female. The boys, at rest, tend to stand more upright with their chest thrust forward. The girls tend to be lower and more crouched.

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Do you see how the back slopes up? If you measured it, you’d find that the back slopes at a near 45 degree angle. And while we’re at it, let’s take one more look at that tail bling.

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Josephine, on the other hand’s back angle is not quite as severe.

The feet. Continue reading

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Lesson 781 – Sex, dirt, and shadows

This morning I took the chicks outside for a little exercise.

At first they just stood around. Do you see why I have concerns about the darker one, Mrs. Bucket, although it does look like she may be getting the beginnings of an apron, that is some pretty impressive tail bling. She also tends to demonstrate aggressive behavior by flapping her wings at (now) littler Josephine.  Anyone feel like chiming in on Mrs. Bucket’s  sex? (Do I really have a Mr. Bucket?)

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Josephine, on the other hand, horizontal and tucked in low, is pure female.

Instinct is a powerful force. After just a few minutes in the sun, Josephine took her first dirt bath. Continue reading

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Lesson 779 – Hmmmmmm

As I said last Friday, my friend Em visited with her camera (I swear I’m getting my camera in the post today to start the process of getting it fixed, sigh.) Em works with horses and has a way with animals … AND she loves our chickens. (world’s best friend combination)

A great afternoon for Em is done in three parts, 1. Shopping at thrift stores, 2. Having some Thai food, and 3. Spending time with the flock.  And so this is exactly how we spent the afternoon.

We took Mrs. Bucket and Josephine and put them on the lawn to get a few photos. Friday will go down in their little chick baby books as the day they discovered how fun and tasty ants can be.

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It’s hard to imagine that the darker chick is going to look like Charlie does someday: Continue reading

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Lesson 776 – A tired little chick

In playing with our new little Maran chicks, I discovered that our Blue Maran (Josephine) hadn’t completely absorbed her yolk sac before she was hatched. What resulted was a bit of an umbilical cord hanging out front.

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You can see the remains of her yolk on her stomach.

I had actually seen this before in another chick I had hatched in an incubator. In that previous chick’s case, the *entire* yolk fell out (she was in every essence of the word a premie as I had to help her hatch out of the egg) and while she did recover, she only lived for a few months afterward being forever the smallest and weakest of our chickens.

Josephine however seems to be holding her own. Although she is larger than Mrs. Bucket, she is far behind her sister (and I’m going with the assumption that both of the chicks are female) with regard to feather growth.

Here is the smaller Mrs. Bucket. Just take a look at those wing feathers (and the suspicious budding on the butt.)

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And here is Josephine. For the most part, she is still all fluff.

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Both chicks are eating, drinking and are certainly active but Josephine seems to have a mild case of narcolepsy. She’ll be eating food and will fall asleep only to wake up when her head touches the ground, at which point she begins eating again.

The first day when Addy was holding her, she noticed that if you put Josephine on her back in the palm of your hand, she immediately closed her eyes and went to sleep. It happened so consistently that we were thinking of booking her on a late night show for the “Dumb Pet Tricks” segment. Even now, when I wrap her in my hands and hold her under my neck softly clucking to her, between the warmth and the darkness, she’s out like a light.

She’s a chicken-baby if I ever saw one.

Josephine is not sick, wheezing, or sneezing. In fact, as I’ve pointed out, she’s even larger than her sister, it’s just that she’s a tired little chick who definitely needs her sleep.

Today is cold and rainy in New Hampshire. Tomorrow should be sunny and warm, I’ll try to get a video of Josephine nodding off.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Lesson 775 – A big (tiny) surprise

I’ve got a big surprise.

When Dick, the man who had given me Violet, found out about what happened to her (I still cringe when I think of that horrific episode), he offered me a new chick. “Far be it for me,” he said, “to not try and fix a broken heart.”

I was moved beyond words. Still feeling guilty about what happened to Violet, Dick not only voiced confidence in me as a chicken owner but he also assured me in his words-of-wisdom way that “things happen.”

“The cinder block thing, it didn’t happen in the last five years and it might not happen again in the next 5 years. Sometimes things just happen.”

On Sunday, I and two of my kids got into our car and made the 2 hour trip down to Dick’s house where we got a tour of his garden, hot house (where he grows plants to share in a group called Gardenswap – gardenswap.org where people share plants with each other) and of course, his flock.

Dick with one of his marans (yup, it's a white maran.)

Dick with one of his marans (yup, it’s a white maran.)

Dick will be 78 in about 2 weeks and this guy could run races around just about anyone (including myself.) He keeps himself busy for the simple reason that that’s the way he likes to live his life. Continue reading

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Lesson 687 – Photos from a Poultry Show

What’s the number one thing that people do when they go to a poultry show (except of course sneeze from all the dust at the end of the day)?

Why it’s take pictures! Chickens are notoriously difficult to take photos of. This is because they don’t have stereo vision like we do.  Instead, they sense depth by constantly moving a focused eye. It’s like taking snapshots from a whole lot of different angles and then crunching all that information into a scene that lets them evaluate a possible threat.

And let’s face it, a million people walking by your cage is a pretty big threat. People who try to take pictures of chickens end up getting a lot of blurry photos, it kind of comes with the job.

I did get a few clear shots. See this guy checking me out with his eye? He’s doing that threat evaluation thing.

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Here’s another one. He’s asking “Are you lookin’ at me?” in a gangster voice. Continue reading

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