Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Those Are Some Fine Chickens

It has been forever since I have done a chicken update. In fact, the last time I talked about anything chicken related was in April when I built my treat feeder. I am so sorry I have been so negligent in talking about my awesome chickens, especially since we hatched our very first batch of chicks in June.

Since we actually had some roosters, and consequently fertile eggs, we thought it would be worth a shot. We convinced two of our hens to go broody (sit on the eggs) and we impatiently waited the 21 days it takes to create a chick. It was totally worth the wait. Baby chicks are some of the cutest little things ever, especially when they are multicoloured.

Pip was our tiniest chick!
Matilda was such a wonderful mother and took great care of her babies. She even adopted one of Camilla's, so she ended up with 10 little chicks under her wings. Camilla was an alright mother to her four, but she wasn't as careful as we would have expected. Either way, all 14 chicks survived.

Look at Pip (on the far left) in comparison to the others)

The chicks grew fast though and soon lost a lot of their cuteness. It has been really fun watching them grow and seeing their colours come in. We're still waiting to see how many turned out to be roosters, although it is already more than we had hoped for.

We only have three of the new ones named. I started naming them as chicks and Dan convinced me to wait until their colours came in and we found out which ones were girls. Since we won't be keeping all the roosters, he didn't want me to get too attached.

Amelia Amelio (turned out to be a rooster)

Pip (the tiny black one from the picture above)

Annabelle, who turned out to be a rooster but we haven't renamed yet
One of our favourites though is the copper (with turquoise ears) silkie mix. We don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet since it's really hard to sex silkies, but s/he is just so awesome looking.

Unfortunately, we have lost three birds since my last update. Fuzzy Butt, our silkie rooster who had the worst temperament ever, was killed in July. He was too mean to keep and was really loud for our neighbours. We tried finding another home for him but no one wanted him, so he unfortunately met his end. Matilda, our very favourite, died in August from what we think was being egg bound. It happens when an egg gets stuck in their oviduct and you can't get it out. We were pretty sad when she died, especially since our attempts at saving her failed. We also lost one of our new ones in August. He appeared to have a dislocated hip and we couldn't seem to fix it. He kept getting worse and worse, so Dan finally put him out of his misery. It was sad to lose all three of these birds, but such is life.

In happier news though, we have been working on making our run a little nicer for our happy birds. In July, Dan built a "salad bar" for the chickens. He assembled a box with a mesh top and then planted grass feed in it. This way, the chickens can reach through the mesh to eat the grass but aren't able to trample it to death. Pretty nifty!

The other fun addition to the coop is a swing. We thought it was a fun idea and decided to give it a try. The first week, no one ever really got on it but since then, there are usually two or three swinging away. It's pretty cute to watch them on it.

We also built them a dust bath but they don't seem to use it much. And I don't have a picture of it. Oops.

That pretty much sums up the update on the chickens. I'll try and keep you guys in the loop a little better from now on, especially now that I am back to posting more frequently.

Dan with Amelio


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so happy we decided to build it, since the chickens really seem to like it and it's so entertaining watching them.

  2. Aww I love this! My parents have chickens and just recently discovered they have 2 roosters. They named them doodle do and doodle don't because only 1 likes to crow!

    1. Great names! If there are more than one rooster, the additional ones will crow less because they are not the alpha male. Fuzzy Butt was the alpha and he crowed constantly, where Mickey rarely crowed. But once we got rid of Fuzzy Butt, Mickey stepped up his game!