Tag Archives: baby chicks

Lesson 1392 – Leaving the nest

For the last 13 days I have had the most incredible experience of watching robins hatch from their brilliant blue eggs to then seeing them become little, but perfect birds in their own right.

Late yesterday afternoon I noticed that the chicks were starting to stretch out and sit on the top of the nest. That’s it, I thought, it’s like when you unfold a map, once opened there’s no putting it back.


And then this morning, I went out on the porch to find this. Continue reading



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Lesson 1390 – Eyes wide open

I can’t get enough of these baby robins. The mom and dad are very tolerant of me  – I coo to them and they no longer fly across the street when I come outside and instead just move to the end of the porch. As long as I bribe them with blueberries they don’t seem to mind me getting near the nest (and then leaving quickly.)

It looks like one of the chicks didn’t make it (four eggs hatched) but honestly with how these little guys are growing so quickly I’m not sure the nest would have supported 4 chicks. All chicks have opened their eyes and the feather growth is nothing short of amazing. It’s such a pleasure and honor to be able to see all this.


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Lesson 1388 – Blue eggs countdown – they’re here

A lot has happened in our neck of the woods. Because our Robin has nested so close to our front door and because (I hope anyway) I continue to leave blueberries out for her each morning, she has tolerated me taking quick snapshots of her little family. Just take a look at what I am so lucky to be able to see.
Lots of pipping on that top right egg.


Oh, look, here she is giving her siblings some emotional support. Continue reading


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Lesson 1383 – Medicated mash or not?



It’s chick season! My Facebook page is filled with all sorts of adorable chick photos (not that I’m complaining.)

I recently gave a chick workshop to some people who are interested in perhaps “trying chickens” (my advice? just bite the bullet and go for it.)

One way in which my workshops differ from others is that I suggest that all chicks receive medicated mash (baby food) until they are fully feathered and ready to live in the coop. Even if you want to grow “organic birds” I suggest medicated feed for those first few weeks.

Sorry, but it’s the microbiologist in me. I know what bacteria can do. Think about it. If you get chicks from a feed store they are typically housed in low tubs. Moms’ bring their young (sneezing) kids over to look at them. People pick them up (because they are so cute) and then return them to the tub (because they are not cute enough to keep.) Not only that but chicks are typically kept with many, many other chicks some of which may be weak and it’s the weaker ones that get sick. When one chick in a tub with hundreds gets sick, chances are many others will as well.

So I see medicated feed as a sort of insurance policy. Eat this for a few weeks just to make sure. Continue reading

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Lesson 1382 – Blue eggs countdown

I’ve been using this week to catch up on a lot of work that had been put aside for the past few months. I still have an article to write and a trip to the college for administration purposes before I can close up shop for the weekend.

Regardless of whether I’m ready or not, life goes on. Two days before my mother’s funeral, I got a call that our ordered chicks had arrived. I briefly thought about bringing them with us for the weekend to Connecticut but then figured the hotel probably wouldn’t be too excited about that. So I set them up in a trusty Tupperware box and found a chick sitter, who through the wonder that is Facebook, kept us connected to the newest members of our flock all weekend. Continue reading

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Lesson 360 – One of the reasons we have chicks

One of the best things about babies and children is how you can make good use of them. You get to dress them up as mini super heroes around Halloween (and even after if the outfit still fits), you get to dress them in clothes that support your favorite team, and you get to pose them near some of the best props ever.

Don’t think I haven’t taken full advantage of this, in fact, I sometimes wonder if the reason I ended up having 6 kids was because the little ones were always aging out.

Here are some prime examples:

Emma is our little Christmas baby born on December 20th. Do you really think that I wasn’t going to get this shot?

Or a photo for posterity of one little guy’s absolute glee at the fact it’s his birthday today? (complete with birthday crown?!!!) Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chick Photos, chicken care, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Life Lessons

Lesson 316 – The restraint of Wendy


This past weekend (the second Saturday of the month) there was a chicken swap at our local Tractor Supply Company (along with Disney Land – one of the happiest places on earth).

“Uh oh”, my daughter Addy said as I turned into the parking lot. “Mom, remember. We already HAVE enough.”

“I know, I know, I’m just looking”, I re-assured her. “But just look how cute they are!”

There were only a few vendors there (the season is still young). Among the breeds on display we saw some frizzles (exploded feather dusters), silkies (cross between a chicken and a dandelion head gone to seed) and a showgirl (just a perversion of nature, I mean please, can someone get that chick some good moisturizer?).

Although we saw many adorable chicks I showed restraint. After all, in a few weeks, if all goes well we are supposed to be getting some new babies. I can wait. I can. Besides, these chicks were not sexed and with our luck, we would be looking at a future rooster no matter what signs we’d try to follow (larger feet, larger in body size, the pendulum swings counter-clockwise).

But, but, but, these were here now and they were so cute.

“Be strong.” Said Addy. “And remember that Dad will kill you if you come home with another chick.”


And then we saw some baby ducks. Tiny yellow baby ducks. With elongated bills and minute webbed feet. One baby duck can sit comfortably and then close its eyes in the palm of your hand (ask me how I know).

“Oh my” I whispered as the little wonder snuggled down to the heat of my skin. “Oh my.”

“Come on, pleeease?” I looked at Addy with my best puppy dog eyes.

“Mom!” Addy sharply barked desperately trying to break the spell under which I’d been placed. “No baby chicks, no baby ducks, no bunnies. Let’s get out of here while we can.”

“Oh all right,” I said gently placing the duckling back in the tub to be reunited with her siblings. “But if we don’t get a lot of chicks from those eggs, and I mean a lot. I’ll be back here next month.”

“You just wait and see.”


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Crazy Chicken Lady, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Chicken Challenge, The kids

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 240 – A chick’s amazing potential

One good thing about all this sub-zero cold is that it is forcing me to stay in close proximity to my little overworked electric heater placed strategically by my writing desk. Even with long underwear on under my pants, two (count them two) sweatshirts on, and wool socks, I’m still cold. Keeping me virtually tethered by the glimmer of heat is a rather crude but effective method of keeping my butt to the chair.

I may not be too warm these days but I’m certainly cranking out the word counts.

But I can’t write all the time. Not to worry, it seems that there is always something to be done and/or found around my desk.

For example, the girls spent the weekend organizing all the earrings I had taken off when I discovered at my desk that the jangling was distracting me when writing and so tucked them in a little corner “out of the way”.

It turns out I have a lot of earrings. Who knew?

I’ve gone through old papers and have thrown out a lot of garbage that up until now, I hadn’t had the time to discover I truly didn’t need them.

It turns out I have a lot of unnecessary documentation. Who knew? Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Challenges, chicken care, Life Lessons, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids