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.

***
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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Lesson 512 – Pirates, MIT, and chickens – it works

Recently, A friend pointed me to a pirate certificate MIT was handing out to its students who had successfully completed Archery, Fencing, Pistol, and Sailing. My friend knew that I was partial to pirates. (Captain Jack Sparrow, le *sigh*) What my friend didn’t know is that I also want to be a pirate, no really, forget Calgon taking me away, Jolly Roger – have at it. 

I carefully constructed an argument of why our entire family should be awarded an honorary Pirate Certificate and sent it off to MIT. 

What follows is my petition to them that be at the MIT helm. 

***

If it please ye, this here New Hampshire family consisting of 2 rum-swillers and 6 scallywags petitions to be accepted as Honorary MIT Pirates.

According to the venerable and highly respected website: wikihow, me shipmates and me all pass the stringent requirements for bein’ pirates with flying Jolly Rogers colors.

  • We growl and scowl often (especially the parents to the children after a long day of swabbing the decks and then seeing dirty dishes in the TV room instead of the sink.)
  • We use pirate lingo often and tell pirate tales at parties including the ever popular:
    • What did the pirate say when his wooden leg got stuck in the freezer?
    • Shiver me timbers.
  • We gesture with our hands (a skill most useful when on the high seas during wild winds and hearin’ be hard – just be mindful of gesturing before ye be used to yer handhook.)
  • We slur our words together (especially when an “r” is involved as in “adventuraarrrrrrh” or with the adults when the rum bottle has been passed around.)
  • We never use you or you’re and instead always use the favorite pirate vernacular of “ye” or “ya.” (Me dear mum demonstrated that grammatical rule to me on a daily basis when me be only a young pup. “Ye be strong, Ye be smart, Ye be beautiful,” she said each morning as she helped attach me sword to me belt.)
  • We embellish at will (especially the youngin’s who have never met a tall tale they wouldn’t like to tell, although if you asked them, they’d like to think that, bein’ fine upstanding pirates-in-training, they would never embellish anything in a million years.)
  • We mutter unintelligibly unless of course we be yelling. (see above notation regarding the rum bottle.)
  • We are as loud as humanly possible. (What’s the use of being a pirate if ye neighbors don’t know?)
  • We wear the nearest facsimile to a parrot on our shoulders. Chickens are a bit more hardy during the fierce New Hampshire winters and during these economic hard times, even pirates have to make do with what we be havin’. See our outstanding pirate family chicken photos here: Pirate Family Chicken Photos

Honored, our crew would be if ye would consider conferring upon us the award of honorary MIT pirates and makin’ us one of the gang. We know a fine crew when we be seein’ one.

This request be signed by:

Wendy –Grog-slinging -Thomas
Marc- Rummy- Nozell
Spencer –Deathbringer – Nozell
Griffin- Fishbait – Nozell
Trevor –Deepsea Dog -Nozell
Logan – Gold Tooth – Nozell
Addy –McLifetaker – Nozell
Emma – Evil Eye- Nozell

Arrrrrrrhhh

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Happy Presidents Day

Happy President’s Day 

This is one of our hatchlings from the summer (yes, I plan ahead, how do you think I can pull off Christmas with 6 kids?) Although as a writer, I don’t have the day off, Marc does and he’s offered to take me out to lunch in celebration. Lucky me!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with my prediction of whether Charlie is a boy or a girl and give supporting evidence why. Also, this week, I’ll talk about another rooster that popped up in our flock (they were all born at the same time, it stands to reason they would all mature at the same time) and tell you about a bird that I think may be a rooster but who has now decided to talk through clenched teeth.

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Lesson 474 – Diversity in the flock

When we got our first baby chicks, they were all brown. Didn’t surprise me, as far as I knew all chickens were either brown or white (like the ones at the petting zoos I had been taken to as a child.) It wasn’t until I brought home Isabelle (our Silver Sebright) that I even knew other kinds of chickens existed.

Today I wanted to show you some of the photos I took at the Northeastern Poultry Congress just to give you an idea of the diversity there is in the chicken world.

Female Black Polish

The female Black Polish (as opposed to the photos of the male yesterday) wear Dandilion puffs on their heads.

Unfortunately I don’t have the names of the breeds for all these birds but I loved the pattern on this one, enough to take a closer look.

And then we have this stunning breed. (There’s a mama hen somewhere who loves this little guy.)

Some of the birds were big on tail bling. Continue reading

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