How Big? SO Big...

Four chicks from my incubator hatch with their adopted mamma, one of the Goldilocks. They're about a week old here, and growing fast. The other nineteen chicks are in the brooder shed with a heat lamp instead of a mother. I tried putting Timmy and then another Golden-Laced Wyandotte in with them, but no luck. So far, they're doing just fine on their own.

I'm sure you remember when Goldie's chicks looked like the ones in the first photo. Here are two of her 14 week-old sons, crosses of Golden Wyandotte/Odo (who is some sort of Ameraucana-Easter Egg rooster, we think). They've apparently gotten kicked out of the flock, and, to Mr. O'Kitten's dismay, they roost on our deck at night.

Here is proud mama Buffy with her brood. Her babies are now almost 12 weeks old, and they're huge. Once again, Odo is the father of all of them, but since her chicks were incubator babies, the mothers were all different hens. It's been interesting to watch all the mixes emerge. I suspect the one at the front right may be Buffy's daughter.

Here's Odo the rooster with little Timmy (at left), our first mama bird. Big Heather, our first chick of the year, has turned into a large white hen, and I caught her in one of the nesting boxes today. It's possible that, at 16 weeks, she's starting to lay eggs.


Gattina said...

Odo has a nice life with all these women ! Like a Sheik with his harem, lol ! But what will you do with all these chickens ? You must have a lot of eggs by now !

Chris said...

Do you even know how many chickens there are now?! Wow!

Obsidian Kitten said...

counting all the chicks, i believe there are 70 now, plus 13 guineas.


Mouse said...

So.. I'm going to be a total city slicker and ask.. " Do chickens stink?" Are they really filthy dirty or no?

RheLynn said...

So many chickens how do you keep up with all of them?

Obsidian Kitten said...

Well--I always thought they would be smelly b/c whenever we used to pass those enormous chicken farms they smell simply awful. but no--they're really not stinky or smelly at all.

We use a deep layer of several inches of pine shavings in the hen house and clean it out completely every few months. The chickens scratch in it so much that it is sort of a self-cleaning system.

Of course, our birds are outside all day and their night-time quarters are fairly spacious. I'm sure it'd be very different if we had oodles of birds packed into tiny cages. but like any birds, the chickens preen themselves and like to take "dust baths" in the dirt; still, the white birds stay very white and they always seem really clean.

As long as they have fresh water and food they're pretty easy to take care of. When they have a mamma, the chicks are really easy; without a mamma, of course there's the whole bit of keeping the temperature regulated which can be a little tricky, esp. at night.

The warmer months are really nice b/c we have a lot of temporary fence up for them and they can range around a good bit and spend almost all their time outdoors, eating grass and bugs and weed seeds (surprisingly, they leave all the flowering plants in tact!).

There are a couple--one stubborn leghorn hen in particular--that hop the fence and have been in my mom's tomatoes and scratching up some of her flowerbed mulch, causing some consternation.

We do seem to go through a lot of feed, and the price of corn has been steadily rising this year (driving up the price of feed)--I don't know how much is the chickens and how much all the mice eat.

Come October or so we'll be culling the flock--hens that aren't laying well anymore and any roosters (besides Odo) so that'll make the winter months more manageable. Plus--roasted chicken and chicken soup!

meeyauw said...

I love those "adolescent" chickens. I love everything about them. Keep the chicken posts coming!