Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chicka Chicka Wah Wah!

Our Girls - Almost All Grown Up!
(there are three breeds)
I just call them the 'yellow ones' (Buffed Orphington), 'the red ones' (Rhode Island Red), and those 'funny looking puffy faced ones' (Aracana - which lay blue eggs)!
Interestingly, they hang out in their own little clicks by breed. Amazing, isn't it?
Social structures. Familiarity. Sisterhood!

And, Low and Behold! Our First Egg From The Chickas!
(the bigger eggs are from the bigger girls).

Chicka Update:
It was brought to my attention that I have left you all hangin' in regard to the chicks and their fate (thanks Barbara)! I have taken photos of their latest growth, so thought I would share with you how the girls are doing..give you a recap of their adventures to date, and share our latest discovery (today's surprise find - the first egg)!

Stage 1:
We started with about 21 chicks back in late April. If you recall, they stayed in the garage, in a cozy box with a heat lamp. The kids and I did all the box arranging, cleaning, moving, etc. A chore that I had hoped Mr. Boss Man would help with, but heck, the babies needed to let out of their itty bitty 'shipping' box! (and boy was it itty bitty)..

Stage 2:
After a few weeks of growth, the box got moved outside, so the chicks could roam in the yard during the day, and get couped up at night in their box. This stage is the 'let's see who is smart enough to survive' stage. We are now down to 17 'chicks. They are actually young hens now! My, have they grown. Well, the litter buggers discovered some great juniper bushes on the side of the garage, where they would 'hide out'. Each night about 8:30 pm, at bedtime, we had to call the chicks.. Our call is 'Chicka Chicka Wah Wah!'. Nice and singsongy and a bit loud. Most of the girls would come for a peek - then try and hide if we went to assist them. We started out having to catch them and stick them in the box! Over time, they go into the box on their own.

Stage 3:
Well, then the bummer lambs got moved outside 'during the day' as well. Each night the lambs were getting moved into their boxes in the garage. Well, if we were too late, the lambs decided the chick box was a cool bed to 'hang out in' until we got them. Great. One evening we found lambs in the box, sharing space with a few chicks. That 'hook up' scared me. I could just imagine a few chicks getting smooshed...

So onto the next move! The chicks then got moved to the big chicken house. After another project... Moving all the chick nesting boxes from one of the sheds over to the chicken house and setting up more roosts, and cleaning the dang house (another one of those mommy/kid projects). The chicken house got setup right after school let out - 2nd week of June. It took 'me and my crew' another 2 or so weeks to get the chicks actually moved. Sami and I had to catch every single chick - one by one - stick them in a dark bag, and carry them to the house, and let them loose.

Stage 4:
Chicks and Chickens and Rooster establish pecking order. Poor chickas! The big girls are mean to the little girls. Pushy broads. We kept everyone in the fenced in area during the day for about 3 days. After that, we open the pen door so the girls can be free-range (aka free yard and adjacent fields) cruisers! The chickas would be found hangin' at their old juniper digs the first week or so. And we had to 'herd them' back to the house each night. Ernest likes to help.

Stage 5:
Everyone is 'jellin'. Yep. Chickas and big girls and Mr. Doo (the rooster) are all hangin' - somewhat. There is still some peckin' going on, and everyone is still hangin' in their own little club as they move about in the yard, but at least they are living together.

OH.. Sami wants me to let you know that one of the chickas is called Puffer Cheeks, and another is Rocketa. Beats me how she knows who is who!

I'll keep you updated as to the egg production.

And, in case you are wondering about those missing chicks. Annie, the rotten female killer dog (who also attacked groucho) killed one of the chicks, for sure. She was busted. The 'girls' escaped from their kennel and went on a tare sometime ago.

The others we are not certain about. No one has been caught in the act.


noble pig said...

They are so cute and great eggs!

Dawn said...

WOW, who knew those cute little puff balls would grow so fast. They were really cute, now not so much. I am afraid of birds. even the chickens...

Sue McGettigan said...

So cute!! There's nothing quite like fresh eggs straight from the source - please show pics of the blue ones when you start to get them :)

Sandy said...

I always wondered how fast chicks turn into chickens---and now we know! I have a question for a future do you know if you can cook the egg they laid or let it hatch into another chicken??

ScrappyPam said...

Thanks for the update! Your title made me spew coffee, though. LOL