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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Honestly, taking care of a flock of young chickens is like, well, taking care of a flock of young children.
The screeching, the bickering, the pecking – oh please!, can’t we all just get along?
Back of Morgane's neck
This is one of our more mature birds: Morgane (pronounced “more-gone” – she’s a french breed). For whatever reason, the other members of the flock are now pecking her on the neck. She’s been a member of the flock now for two years and I have no idea why her sisters would suddenly turn on her unless of course, it’s the stress of having all those young ones underfoot. Can’t say that I blame them, having young ones constantly under my feet (can you say summer?) causes even me to henpeck at times. Continue reading