The Chicken Chronicles: Meet The Ducks

I present to you…

Quackers and Cheese.

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Quackers is on the left and Cheese is on the right. I love these little ducks. They stink to high heaven, so I stuck them outside the other night (everyone goes outside during the day, but the chicks go in the garage under the heat lamp at night still). I was worried sick that I would kill them, but walked out this morning (in the cold) to find the ducks happily swimming in their kiddie pool.

They love their chicks – every night when I go in to take them into the garage, the ducks cry for them. And when I bring them out in the morning, the ducks come waddling and quacking over to greet them. Seriously adorable.

The Chicken Chronicles: Chick Pics

New year, new chicks, right?

Sadly, I have to start off with one that didn’t make it. Little Red died this morning.

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I hate this part of animals… even when they’ve only been with me a little while, it makes me sad. I guess it’s not meant to be with me and the Rhode Island Reds… first Stretch last year, now Little Red. She was given a proper burial on the ranch.

Now, onto the happier part of the post… the living chicks and ducks. That’s right DUCKS! These little ducklings are so freaking adorable, it kills me! But first, the chicks.

This is Kramer, my Polish Crested. I know it’s not a very feminine name, but she’s going to have some crazy hair and the name fits! Google Polish Crested and you’ll find out what I mean!

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This is Dot, my Speckled Sussex. If you remember last year’s chickens, you’ll remember Cleo, who was also a hawk casualty. The Sussexes are beautiful and I wanted to get another one.

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This is Lacey, my Silver Laced Wyandotte. She’ll be another pretty one – basically all black with gray/silver “lacing” on her.

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This is Goldie, my Buff Orpington. I haven’t had one of these before, but thought a lighter colored chicken would go well with all of my dark ones!

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Now, onto the ducks. I don’t know enough to figure out what breed they are yet, but I’m doing some research. I’m waiting to name them until I know a little more about them and can see their little personalities.

Meet Duck #1:

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Meet Duck #2:

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Well, that’s it for the new members of the ranch!

 

 

 

The Chicken Chronicles: Rest in Peace Stretch

Well, I was planning on posting a review of my Apple watch, but sadly, I have some bad news to share. Today we lost our first chicken, Stretch. I’m not sure exactly what got her, but something made it into the orchard and killed her. I’m sad because she was one of my favorites from the start – named Stretch because as a chick she was always craning her neck to check out her surroundings and loved to be held.

I went to put the chickens to bed this evening and noticed Bruce (the rooster) was sitting in the doorway of the hen house making a lot of noise – he wouldn’t let the rest of the girls out.

I decided to bury her – even with pets it just seems like the right thing to do. Our ground is ridiculously hard right now, but it felt good to take out some of the sad on the dirt. She’s in a nice little spot near some rosemary.

Rest in peace, Stretch.

Stretch
Stretch

The Chicken Chronicles: Meet Bruce

Well, at 15 weeks of age, one of my hens has undergone a transformation. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bruce (formerly known as Legs):

Bruce (formerly known as Legs)
Bruce (formerly known as Legs)

How do I know for sure?

I’m not entirely certain what I’m going to do about it… I definitely know I can’t kill him. And I don’t want to get rid of him (I’m attached!). I guess we just have a rooster. I need to read up a bit more to find out what the implications of that will be…

The adventure continues!!!

The Chicken Chronicles: Moving Day!

I had it in my head that I would photo document and blog every step of the coop building process and was actually doing pretty well for a while. Then I got tired. And was frantically working on the coop after work and in the morning, and any other spare minute I had. Lesson learned: build the coop before you buy the chickens. Those little suckers grow fast!

That said, today I finished the coop and moved the girls in! I still have some touching up I want to do on the trim (where the screws are, etc), but it’s good enough to live in!

Side View of the Coop
Side View of the Coop
People Door Side
People Door Side

I will be adding some stairs so that it’s easier to get in and out of the coop.

Chicken Door Side
Chicken Door Side
Roost, Nest Box, & Floor
Roost, Nest Box, & Floor

Inside I put a roost and took a tip from a lot of folks online and used linoleum floor. It helps with cleanup and I scored a remnants roll for only $13!

I hand carried Stretch down and she got to be the first chick to be in the coop. Because she’s my favorite.

Stretch Checking Out Her New Home
Stretch Checking Out Her New Home
The Ladies Settling In
The Ladies Settling In

Next up: the run. I bought the lumber for it today and will get to work on it tomorrow after work. I have some time… the chicks have to stay inside the coop for a week or so… that’s how they learn it’s home and “come home to roost” each night.

The Chicken Chronicles: Meet The Girls Part 4

It’s time to meet the last four girls… everyone seems to be doing really well! I’m hoping to get the coop as close to finished as I can tomorrow… might have to hold off on the painting as it’s supposed to rain on Sunday.

Gwen

Meet Gwen. I think she might be my lone Dominique chick, but it’s hard to tell with these last 3 black chicks. However, she has the most while, mostly on her belly, like a penguin. She was really mad at me in this picture because I set her down on the workbench and she wanted to be with her buddies. She’s the littlest of all of my chicks.

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Gwen

Cleo

Meet Cleo. I think she’s my Speckled Sussex chick. I named her Cleo because she has very Cleopatra-like eyeliner.

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Cleo

Domino

Meet Domino, who I think is one of my Barred Rock chicks. She’s got a couple white splotches but is mostly black.

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Domino

Dice

Meet Dice, who I think is my other Barred Rock chick. She gets her name because she has the most black and white speckles all over her (unlike Domino who has patches).

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Dice

The Chicken Chronicles: Coop Progress & Growing Girls

Things have definitely been moving along with the coop and with the chicks. Over the past few days I’ve been working hard on the coop, but my hubby has been working extra hard!

Walls With Roof Beams
Walls With Roof Beams

After that, it was time to put the siding on. We were super tired because we had the Garth Brooks concert the night before (stay tuned for that post), and it seemed to take forever to get just two walls up. Mike was driving home the next day and remembered his trick for putting siding up alone (leveled nails across the bottom) and had the other two walls up before I got home.

Two Sides
Two Sides

Then, he got bored while I was at work today, and poof! we have a roof! It’s the same color as the roof on our house and pump shed… I’ll be painting the coop the same wall and trim color as well!

Roof!
Roof!

I did my part today and built the nest box when I got home from work. I still need to cut the hole for it (it will go just under the window you see in the roof picture above) and screw it in, but it’s set!

Nest Box
Nest Box

Tonight the ladies got a new little home… for now at least. They were starting to outgrow their little tub… they were always stepping all over each other and squawking. So, I decided to make use of my childhood fort building skills and create this architectural wonder that rivals the Egyptian pyramids:

The New Hangout
The New Hangout

Ok, it’s ugly. But it gets the job done and the chicks are already loving it. The first thing they did when I put them in was to run around and flap their wings.

Tomorrow will be the final “meet the girls” post with the last four chicks. I can’t believe how fast they’re growing!