Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Peep! Peep!

Mama hen and her two day old chicks 1

Lots more photos, a chick report, and The Daily Donkey below. . .

Mama hen and her two day old chicks 2










Did you know little chicks peep almost constantly? It's pretty cute. The day old babies picture here were born back on June 20th, and I had originally planned to title these photos And Babies Make Three!, but a couple of days after I snapped them, our seemingly healthy, two and a half week old first born chick of 2011 (which you can see here and here) suddenly keeled over dead for no apparent reason. That's never happened before.

For a while there, it literally seemed like every time I walked outside another animal was sick or injured or dead. Thankfully the barrage of bad news has slowed down, because that gets really depressing.

So far these two seem to be doing fine, as does the camera shy little baby that Tuffy hatched out on June 27th. I was hoping we were going to end up with all kinds of June peepers because we had five different hens sitting on eggs, but it turned out we also had a big black snake problem.

In the past two weeks we've caught three several-foot-long black snakes in the chicken coop stealing eggs—sometimes right out from underneath the setting hens. Ick. We like black snakes, which thankfully aren't poisonous, but we also like our eggs and chicks. And after last summer's snakebite ordeal (from which I'm still recovering), all snakes kinda freak me out.

As for what mama is showing her baby chicks how to eat, it's a mixture of ground barley flakes, wheat bran, oat bran, tuna, granulated kelp, a little finely chopped purple cabbage, and thick raw cream from a Jersey cow down the road—basically what I happened to have on hand.

Back in the spring of 2009, we opted not to feed our eight newly hatched chicks overprocessed commercial 'chick starter' food and went straight to a mixed diet of fresh meat, fruit, veggies, cheese, and yogurt, and more.

For years we've fed our adult chickens everything from steak scraps and Swiss chard (which I grow year round) to cottage cheese and kale, along with kelp, food grade diatomaceous earth (that we buy in 50-pound bags and use all over the farm and garden), a livestock calcium mineral mix, and all natural grain. And of course the chickens who are now running around loose feast on all kinds of seeds, bugs, and plants, too.

Wondering what all you can feed chicks and chickens? I talk more about what we feed our flock in the comments sections of this post. Lots of other chicken owners chimed in there, as well as in the comments section of this post.

Prefer to just look at chickens and not have to feed them?

The (Usually) Daily Donkey139: The Nose Knows. . .

© FarmgirlFare.com, clucky, plucky, but still not ducky, which, although I adore ducks, is probably a good thing, since the 11 chickens currently free ranging have sort of taken over the farm—or at least the farmyard. Everywhere you look, there's a chicken flapping by. It's a lot of fun. Most of the time.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for the little chickies they are soooo cute and I can almost feel their softness......what is Tuffy sitting on?

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  2. They're so teeny... hard to believe they'll grow up into a big old fat chicken. I love the little black one.

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  3. Aww, Susan, sorry to hear about your first chick..I know it must be tough to be a farmer sometimes! However, I am happy that these wee ones seem to be on the right track. Crossing fingers for their health, and more chicks!

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  4. Mama is a beautiful lady and her little peepers are so cute! I'm fascinated that the one little one is black - that new to me.

    As for snakes (and I know there are lots of non-poisonous snakes), I'm pretty much scared of them. How creepy is it that they can steal an egg right out from under the chicken? Yikes!

    Barb

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  5. They are so cute! We love watching our chickens.

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  6. Chicks are so cute.

    Hopefully you have taken care of your snake problem for a while. Snakes more than creep me out.

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  7. What a couple of cuties. They are like salt and pepper. Glad you got the snake problem worked out. How are you keeping them out of the coop?

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  8. FG, I totally agree with you re: diatomaceoud earth. Love that stuff for slug/roach/ant/bug control, and for mixing a few tablespoons into 20 lbs of chicken feed at a time. Keeps the flock worm-free and happy. (I think I got the poultry-formulated D.E. from The Holistic Horse. The 50-lb bag I ordered from some organic farm supply place out West.)

    It's so awesome to see your peeps! Last summer, my Henrietta hatched just two peeps (and let the other 10 eggs rot, but that's another story). Maybe my rooster Leroy needs three or four more girlfriends. Hmmm.

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  9. We are in the process of moving into our RV, time is limited, I will have to come back and view the photos.

    Your photo's are excellent, through these photo's, I visit your farm. It is a wonderful visit. The momma hen and chicks are precious.

    Thank you, for all you share.

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  10. Those are PRECIOUS, Susan! I love looking at these photos. One of my favorites is the post with turtles in your strawberry patch. I thought of it the other day as I was making strawberry rhubarb sauce, and I went, gee, I wish I had a turtle to test that on. Then I remembered. Oh right...I do. Her name is Shelly. ;D So I tested it on the turtle and posted photos and a reference to your blog in this post:

    http://thealchemistblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/all-natural-strawberry-rhubarb-sauce-recipe-or-i-totally-forgot-i-had-access-to-a-turtle/

    Hope you enjoy, Susan! Keep up the cuteness,
    Gen

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