Sunday, August 25, 2013

We have one more week!

I asked for more time from the HOA peoples...and they agreed 2 more weeks was reasonable (that was a week ago).
We needed more time so the people who are taking the chickens can build a home for them.
Excited to see their new chicken tractors! I really hope this works out well for them.

They will be keeping 6:
Stu-E (lucky rooster gets to live a little longer, as they are thinking of hatching out eggs later)

Sadly, I have not found homes for Rocky James and Blanco...
So, the last two roosters will most likely be going to a woman who offers chicken processing (isn't that a nice way to say it?) for $5 each OR another option she gave us (once she heard they were pets) was that she could just come and get them...I don't know if she will process them right away, or allow them to grow some...but they will be hers at that point, so I guess I don't want to know?
I think option B is a good option for us. I don't want to eat them.
I'm sure I could...I just don't want to.

I will be taking our last pictures soon. I hope the kids (and chickens) will cooperate!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

well, we are done, for now...

We got a letter asking us to re-home our chickens this saturday (by certified mail).
I am assuming our one poopy neighbor complained.
So...even though my next door neighbors and all the neighbors in my culdesac are ok with us having neighbor, on the next street over, who heard us "building somthing" and came over "to investigate" has a problem with us. We have 60-70 feet of greenbelt between are yards.
He has been seen by friends, to be snooping around, in our yard, when we weren't home.
He could have just asked! Ha! We weren't keeping it a secret.
Neighbor kids have come over just to see them and hold them.
My kids talk about them all the time (and loudly too)!
But...we don't want to cause trouble for those nice neighbors
(who have to deal with the complaints)
So, it's all over for now...until we can formally amend the rules.
Two of my neighbors also stated they would like to have chickens.
The rest have been supportive.
So, I hope to find the time to send out letters to see if we have enough support to go forward with it. We need 75% of the 53 households to amend.

Now what to do with the run and coop? and more importantly the chickens?

We found a family who is interested in having chickens.
We might even be able to come visit sometimes!!!
Which is important to me, at least for a little while, since A is still very attached to them.
We will give them to them gladly.

The plan, so far, is to move the coop, small temporary run and big secure run (if possible) over to their house this saturday. They can have as much time as they need to figure out if they want to keep (buy) the coop and run, or if they want to build their own. We are in no hurry. We are just glad we found someone so quickly, who wants chickens. And that they are willing to let us come over to see them sometimes (at least for a little while).
Maybe we can pet sit for them!

So, I am glad.

Glad to have had this experience.

Glad to have found out the full character and poopy-ness of one neighbor.
(Hopefully he will try to avoid talking to me now! Yay!)

Glad to help some new friends get chickens.

Glad to be done with the poop. (I think changing baby is enough poo for me right now)

Glad to have found them a good home.
(they might even take the rooster(s), they are still thinking)

All in all...I am glad.

I hope it all goes well this weekend.

The coop is heavy and I don't know how heavy the secure run is...
H has to work part of saturday too (in the morning).
But hopes to be home by afternoon.

We shall see.

Meanwhile, my parents are coming to visit us. So, they will get to see the chickies while they are still here! Should be fun!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

oh boy! Blanca is a boy!

Blanca crowed on Monday morning!
Rocky crowed on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
No crowing today...

So, how did I do at guessing so far?

I think I had it figured right by 5-7 weeks.

1 week old (first day home) I guessed 2 wrong.
Penelope had a comb already, but is a pullet not a cockerel.
Blanca, though a very round chick, was not a pullet, he is the first to crow! Ha!
2 weeks old: same guesses
3 weeks: 1 wrong-still thought Blanca was a pullet, but figured out the bred of the others, which helped with gender guessing.
4 weeks: 2 wrong. again Blanca and I feared Teriyaki, since her comb turned pink, but I think she is pullet.
5 weeks I change Blanco to cockerel, which is correct and had 1 maybe, Teriyaki
6 weeks-I am on vacation
7 weeks I have their genders guessed correctly now (I think)
at 8 1/2 weeks we have crowing to confirm Blanca is a cockerel and Rocky also.

#1 pullet black star

#2 pullet black star

#3 cockerel barred rock

#4 pullet blue laced red wyandotte

#5 L gone cockerel gold star (must have had a delaware parent- he looked like a delaware) 

#6 pullet gold star

#7 pullet gold star

#8 cockerel gold star

#9 cockerel rhode island white (non-standard, no rose comb, might be a white rock)


Sunday, July 28, 2013

gender guesses

None have crowed yet, but I feel fairly certain...these are my best guesses as of today:

pullet=hen pink
cockerel=rooster blue

#1 Penelope-black star-pullet
#2 Blackout -black star-pullet
#3 Rocky-barred rock-cockerel
#4 Teriyaki-blue laced red wyandotte-pullet (so far/maybe)
#5 Zacky-gold star-cockerel GONE
#6 Cinnamon-gold star-pullet
#7 NutMeg-gold star-pullet
#8 Stu-E-gold star-cockerel
#9 Blanca-non-standard (has single comb) Rhode Island White-cockerel (so far/maybe)

When I ask the kids which ones they want to keep of course they say all of them.
When I ask for their top two choices....

M: Blanca (if pullet), Penelope, Blackout
N: Blackout, ? (I need to ask him without sibings interjecting)
A: Teriyaki, Blackout, Penelope, Cinnamon, NutMeg (see what I mean?)

My kids are pretty smart...I suggested we pick two favorites and the top 3 we keep....
So, M and A were trying to talk N into Cinnamon and NutMeg. That way they each would have a different top two. Then, Mom would try to make it fair and we would get to keep more than 3.
Ha! smart kids.


We recently went on vacation.
We asked a friend and her 3 kids if they would be willing to watch ALL our pets (8 chicks, 2 fish, 1 cat and 1 hamster) and our garden. I was soooo glad they said yes! They said they had a good time playing with them. yay!

When we got home...I they are soooo big! We were glad their house and run were almost done!

I am fairly certain now that 2 are cockerels. I am looking for homes for them but I'm not sure if I will be able to find them homes...most people don't want them. So, we might have to take care of them ourselves (eat them) but I'm not sure I can do it!
My neighbor suggested I have a local butcher do it for me, then throw it in the freezer with other meat, so I won't know when we eat our chicken...

I have talked to all the neighbors in my culdesac and they are all ok with us having chickens. No roosters, of course, but we just didn't know which ones were roos when they were babies.
So, like I said, most of my neighbors are very supportive. They don't mind at all...
But on the next street over...arg...lets just say I have one neighbor who is very nosey, rude, and controling. I have talked to my other neighbors and told them what they said to me, and they also think they are being very unreasonable and severely rude. I'll try not to go into too many details here...but they tried very hard to make me mad....bashing my parenting, my house (it's a mess), my husband's garden (it's ugly), and my religion (we are close minded?, etc,) I was walking away at that point. I asked him to please not bring my religion into this and my parenting is my business...I'm sure I didn't hear all of the rude things they had to say. And luckily my kids seemed to be mostly obilivous to it all.

But again I felt like giving it really worth it, to have pet chickens???

I really don't like people being so mad (and horribly rude).

I've had to talk to a lot of people just to process it all, emotionally.

Well, one of my neighbors today told me they hope I don't let them bother me. They are bullys. And they have been nosey and strange and controlling to other people too, not just me.

I think, at this point, I am ok with being done with this pet experience. I could give them all to a friend, who I just found out is interested in laying hens and my kids could possibly still visit them. But I don't want to appear to be rewarding those unkind neighbor's behavior.

So, I haven't decided yet if I want to continue...I really don't like drama.

Anyway, like I said, no crowing yet, but we are pretty certain two of the chicks are roos (Rocky and Stu). Blanca might be a roo too, but we aren't yet sure....And we only plan to keep 3 hens (if any).
It will be hard to choose. But choices will soon need to be made.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

4 weeks old and trying to enjoy our chicks

Chicks grow fast.
And we are trying to enjoy them.
We are in the process of building a safer run (hardware cloth on all sides, bottom and top) for now we are enjoying them in the house (I know, I know, it's gross). I often am cleaning up chicken poo and washing my hands a million times a day. But when the kids have them out they are happy. It's worth all the lysol and paper towels.

We like to hold chicks first thing in the morning!

Rocky's close up

Blanca enjoys getting her picture taken a little too much ;)

 I have to talk N into spending time with the chicks. He still misses Zacky. I ask him if he wants to hold the chicks and he will say "nah"...but with a little gentle encouragement, he is back to holding them occastionally. He has been helping Dad build the run...he enjoys hammers and spending time with Dad, so I hope that is helping him get through this tough time. 

Stu-E did good for his close-up!

and Stu-E is getting some color on his wings!
Blackout is getting red feathers on her chest

we visited the coop (it's almost done!!!) I will have more pictures soon!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

so sad.....Zack is gone....

Today a raccoon stole Zacky...
He is gone.
We are all still in shock.
We brought the other 8 chicks back inside and they too are crying. Looking for their buddy.
Zacky was N's favorite. They had bonded and loved each other.
We are all so sad.
I wish I could take the last couple hours of this day back...and change them.
It was a very hot day today.
The house was so hot, so we went outside in the shade and put them in the chick run.
It doesn't have a top.
We were outside with them and kept a close eye.
Then we all went inside.
No one was watching.
I knew I should have put some wire over the top.
I even said something to J about it..."should we bring them know that whole dawn and dusk thing? Do you think they will be ok?" He thought they would be ok.
but we got busy doing other stuff. and thought 4:30 was still very light out and still early.
and I thought they would prefer the outdoors for a little longer...
I feel horrible.
Zack is gone.

N wants to hatch more chicks. Or get another chick from a farmer that looks like Zack....
I explained to him that there will be only one Zack and we can't get more chicks right now.
He says he is ok.
He says he is glad he has pictures to remember what Zack looks like.

1 week
2 weeks

3 weeks
J says we must learn from this experience.
We must take better care of our chicks.
We will add a roof to the run...
Even then...I am worried.
How are we going to do this???
I feel like I want to quit.
I want someone else to take them and keep them safe.
I didn't know I was already so attached to them....
Espeically to Zacky...who I had just been holding an hour before...
The chicks have finally quieted down from their peeping...
They must now understand that he is not coming back.
Zack is gone.

Friday, June 28, 2013

3 weeks old

#1 Penelope

#2 Blackout

 #3 Rocky

 #4 Teriaki

#5 Zack

#6 Cinnamon

#7 NutMeg
#8 Stu

 #9 Blanca
BLANCA jumped in front of the camera to get her picture taken!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#9 Blanca

#9 named Blanco by M (or Blanca, since we hope it is a hen).
She is M's favorite. She is the smallest chick and she has white wings.
She has a good temperment so far. Doesn't seem to mind being held.
Rhode Island white?  

#8 Stu

#8 is one of the lighter yellow chicks (the bigger of the two). also, has light tan wings.
No brown feathering (at least not yet) on shoulders. tolerates holding ok, but prefers a buddy (another chick around). I think I've seen this one chest bump the others (cockerel/male behavior).
Gold Star?
If so, it would be a cockerel...since it's lighter in coloring.

#7 NutMeg

#7 is the second one that is darker yellow/tan
also starting to get in brown shoulder feathers (though slower than number six).
Shorter tail feathers, for now...also has the longer couple feather on wings.
This one is calmer than numbe six. But also prefers a buddy when being held at this point.
Gold Star?
If so, it would be a pullet (girl). It was darker with faint darker stripes.