Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chickens Update

 The first four chick(en)s hatched in the incubator back in mid-March are about 14 weeks old now.
There are 3 roosters and 1 hen.  (I believe.)

The roosters have started crowing within the past couple of weeks. They aren't too loud yet, though.

The three to the left are roosters, the far right one I believe is a hen.
My plan is to group one rooster with two or three hens from the 9-batch and hopefully sell them as a "starter pack" for new backyard chicken farmers.

There are roosters in the 9-batch, but the eggs came from the same farm so I don't know which/if the chickens are related and am not sure about breeding chicken siblings.

The 9-batch chick(en)s are about 13 weeks now.
They still hang together in a group mostly. Buff, their Hatch-Mother, doesn't really have anything to do with them anymore.

(Buff tried to go broody again right before Hawk hatched the last 4-pack of chicks. I put her off the nest a few times but she was persisting. I decided I'd get her some eggs when I got back from Florida, but when I got back she was no longer broody, so that was good. I didn't need more chicks right now.)

The 9-batch roos haven't started crowing yet - thank goodness, but then again, kind of weird because they're only like a week behind the First Four. Seems like they would have started crowing by now.

I'm still not totally sure which of the 9-batch are roos and which are hens.  I'm fairly sure these two are roos:

I thought the black&white was a hen, but something the other day (I can't remember what now?) made me think it might be rooster afterall.  Also, it's huge, bigger even than some of the suspected roos.

Pretty sure the black one is a hen. I plan to couple her with the white rooster of the First Four, and see if they make black&white checked babies.

The white chick (lol) on the left is the last, little baby yellow chick of the 9-batch. She has a few names: Number 9, Lucky 13, but I just call her Baby.  Pretty sure she's a girl, too.
I plan on her being Blackie's sister wife with White Roo.

The one on the right...I don't know much about. I think it's a hen. She's generic-looking to me, until I see her in the pictures, I don't know that I've even ever really seen her in the flock.
I don't think she typically looks like she's walking on stilts like she does here, lol.

And then there's the 4-pack, the last batch of babies hatched June 1st.
They're about 3.5 weeks old now.

I think I let the 9-batch out into the flock earlier than 3.5 weeks, but then there was only the several older hens/flockmates.

When I brought the First our home and tried to integrate them in with the original seven and the 9-batch, it didn't work out. I probably didn't really give it enough time, but I couldn't stand to watch them fight and pick and carry on like they were, so I said forget it and put the First Four in their own coop.

So I was worried how these 4 babies were going to fare with the 9 "teens" and didn't want to let them out until they were bigger.
Well, Hawk, their Hatch-Mom, wasn't having it.
She kept throwing temper tantrums whenever I would come and let the other chickens out, but she was stuck in her cage.
She hollered at me, and then it got to where she was flipping their food plate over, and turning the waterer over and all the water would spill out, leaving her and the chicks nothing to drink.
The food spilled out too, but at least it was still in the bottom of the cage where they could eat it if they got hungry enough. The water would just be gone.

Finally I said, fine, go then. Hope your babies don't get eaten.
So I let them out, and they did fine.

Sometimes some of the 9-batch would peck at one of the chicks if it got in their way, but mostly to warn it, not to hurt it. They didn't chase the babies to attack them, and too, Hawk does a pretty good job protecting them and herding them around, making sure they get to eat and scratch and dust bath.

I didn't check their wings at a week old to even try to guess what sex they are, so I have No idea if they are boys or girls.

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