Our 8 Four Week Old Chickens, and One Sad Surprise

Well Friends, our sincere hopes and intentions were to let those of you who were interested, watch the chickens grow up, with us. But what I have found is, they grow in size faster than I can possibly keep up with! It’s crazy!  Sometimes the growth spurts seem overnight. By the time I photograph them, load them into my computer, and prepare the photos for the blog (tasks all managed to have been squeezed into my otherwise busy Mama-agenda), it’s been a week, and the chickens have grown so much, the photos become instantly outdated!  So, we’re doing our best here, to share this new exciting chicken-keeping journey with you.

If you didn’t even know we GOT chickens, and missed their photo shoot at 4 days old, and introductions by name, you can go smitten yourself with the overabundance of cuteness, HERE at ‘Come Meet Our Chicks!’.

At some point I’m going to blog about the day we got our chickens, how we were prepared for their arrival, and what the first week with them was like. (It was all as FUN as we were expecting!  I can tell you that now!)  But just to update you, because we only wanted females/hens, we ordered 8 vent-sexed female chicks in June, and they arrived July 10, 2014. THAT was a very exciting day we look forward to sharing another time.

Today, however, we’re going to show you lots of photos of where they are all at now, a fun peek into their personalities (YES, chickens have personalities too!), and all of the latest news.

01_Chickens_4-weeks-old-first-time-outdoors
They turned 4 weeks old last week, and since it was a beautifully mild and calm summer day, we decided to bring them outside to play for awhile. You know, give them some time to practice scratchin’, and all that.
The cover to our old strawberry bed came in perfectly handy, as a playpen of sorts, for them.

02_Chickens_4-weeks-old
In the first few days of having them, I found I am very drawn to taking feathered-bum shots!  Their bums have gotten so much bigger, where they used to be so tiny. But my love for photographing them hasn’t worn off much.  This cute backside belongs to Kingston, who we’ll be talking more about in just a few minutes.

Having them outside in natural light, is where I’d most prefer to photograph them. So this day was a good one to take some updated photos of them. But keep in mind, all of them had to be taken through the chicken wire this time. We hold them all LOTS, every day. But they are just too young to roam free yet, and I didn’t want hands, arms and shorts in the shots.

03_Chickens_4-weeks-old

So this is Plymouth, our White Plymouth Rock. Her beautiful snow white feathers are coming in so nicely.
At the moment, she is medium sized among our chickens. She’s a very curious one!

04_Chickens_Plymouth-White-Rock-4-weeks-old Here is another of her.
Call me silly, to compare a chicken to an angel but, I really love how the light shines through her outer feathers, and surrounds her in that glow.

05_Chickens_Silver-Laced-Wyandotte-4-weeks-old Duxbury, our Silver Laced Wyandotte, is about the same size. We have loved watching her fancy feather pattern develop.
She is competitive and determined.

06_Chickens_Golden-Comet-Red-Star-4-weeks-old This is Westfield, our Golden Comet. Also known as Red Stars. This is a breed my brother recommended.  He and his family used to have chickens, and they live in Westfield, where I also grew up all of my life, until Michel and I got married.  The crazy colored mix of her feathers right now is so beautiful!  She’s pretty sweet. The kids call her ‘dainty’.  Incidentally, Olivia is quite drawn to her. Westfield is one of our smallest chickens.

07_Chickens_Australorp-4-weeks-old This is Pembroke, our other small chicken. She’s an Australorp, but she sure has been resembling an ostrich to us, lately.
She is not nearly as feathered out as the rest of our chickens quite yet. But she sure gets lots of love. Especially from Shane who seems to give her extra love and attention. He always says out loud, “I love Pembroke”.
Although it’s clear he loves them all, Pembroke seems to be special for him. Michael and I marvel at that fact, because as strange as it seems, Shane and this chicken seem to have some similar characteristics. For example, they are both very under-estimated by people in general, and are both physically lightening fast and clever. Even we can’t catch Pembroke, in the brooder!  Yeah, she’s going to give us a run for our money, TOO! ;)

08_Chickens_Easter-Egger-4-weeks-old Boston, is just a super cool bird.  She looks like a hawk!  She’s our Easter Egger, and her feathering is so striking!  She is definitely one of our biggest birds, and she has command among the flock. She’ll definitely have high ranks in the pecking order. But she’s as easy to hold and cuddle as any of them.
That said, she is jealous as all get-out, when others get attention. Especially one, whom I’ll tell you about shortly.

09_Chickens_Easter-Egger-4-weeks-old This is her again. Although, she looks much smaller in this photo, or at this angle, than she really was.
They have all grown a ton since these photos from just over a week ago, now.

I was trying desperately to get at least one updated photo of every bird, so you could see how they’ve grown and changed.
I think the only one I did not manage to get, before we had to bring them indoors and go someplace, is Hanover. Hanover is our Rhode Island Red is pretty medium in size, and very uniform in color. A very dark reddish brown, right now. She is really so easy going.

So lets’s see…..you’ve seen Plymouth, Duxbury, Westfield, Pembroke, Boston, and we just talked about Hanover.
That’s six, so we have two more to cover.

Let’s talk about Weymouth next.
Ohhhh, sweet Weymouth.
Do you remember our Welsummer, Weymouth?
10_Chickens_Welsummer-4-four-days-old At just a few DAYS old, that sweet point on her head had me at HELLO. It was impossible for any of us not to fall in love with her.
And I especially, fell hard.

11_Chickens_Welsummer-10-ten-days-old About 10 days old here.
So sweet in demeanor at that age, and I just couldn’t get over that mark on her head.

12_Chickens_Welsummer-10-ten-days-old Like a sweet soft version of a rebel mohawk, right?

13_Chickens_Welsummer-10-ten-days-old

Well when she was only somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks old, one early morning while we are all still in bed, Michael and I heard the craziest screech, that sounded all too much like a real baby-effort at a cock-a-doodle-doo. Michael and I were both like, “Was that just a….noooooo!”.  After a second one, Michael got up and went to take a peek at who was freaking us out. After a third one, I heard Michael’s barefeet come back through the house to our bedroom, and he said a word I will never forget….

“Weymouth”.

I wanted to cry.
But the many days went by without another sound from Weymouth so, I let myself slip right into denial that it was some kind of fluke.
But then it did happen again.
And as we watched her grow, troubling features in her appearance began to emerge.
So I began to research, and the more I researched, the more I had to accept what looked like cold facts.

She’s only crowed now a good handful of times, and not always just in the morning.
But really, at 4 weeks old, there was really no denying it, anymore . . . . . .

14_Chickens-Welsummer-4-four-weeks-old-rooster We did special order for our chickens to be vent-sexed, to try and ensure we only got females. But the company makes it clear that occasional errors are made.
But what were the chances that would happen to us?  I have since learned from our vet-friend, that vent-sexing is very hard to do, and it is such a special skill, that it’s a job that pays very well.  I thought that was interesting.  There error rate is about 10% though.

15_Chickens-Welsummer-4-four-weeks-old-rooster But they sure made a mistake with ours.

16_Chickens_Buff-Orpington-4-weeks-old Lastly, we have Kingston, a Buff Orpington. Like Boston, she is a BIG bird.  And bound to get much bigger.
Michael and Kingston have a bond. Those two together, are just ridiculous. I knew Michael would *love* keeping chickens. But he actually loves it more than I even expected.  But Kingston adores Michael, like no other. If he is anywhere near her, she cannot fly to him and get ON him fast enough. And Michael just holds her, pets her, cuddles her, and grins with pride.  Yeah, Kingston is spoiled. She believes she is the Queen of all.  And Weymouth and Boston exude superiority as well.

Of course, Weymouth would ultimately hold the top of the pecking order. But HE can’t stay. So it’ll be interesting to see who remains in charge – Kingston, or Boston.

17_Chickens_Buff-Orpington-4-weeks-old Here, Kingston and Weymouth forge contently, side by side.
They REALLY loved their time in the grass and sun.  Soon, that will be only life they know.
We just need to get that awesome chicken coop done! (It’s going to be SO cool!)  Because they are getting WAY too big for the house brooder, for much longer.

18_Chickens_Buff-Orpington-4-weeks-old As for Weymouth, as much as we love her…..errr, HIM, he simply cannot stay. We never wanted a rooster, and cannot have a rooster.
I am a freak about being inconsiderate and annoying neighbors, and the ones right beside us (who are maybe a decade older than us) are so wonderful.  Even though I doubt they would ever complain. He is from Vermont, and I think grew up on a farm. A big burly outdoorsy guy, with curly hair, a mustache, and big dimples. Add to that though, that he seems to be quite hard of hearing. So I doubt our rooster would ever wake or bother him. But we love his wife too, and she can hear.

Besides, WE don’t want to hear a rooster crowing, or waking us up, and we also don’t want to be candling eggs. And if I’m honest, it would be hard for me to see our girls constantly pinned down to the ground for love (wanted or not), on a daily basis. LOL.  So…..we will find Weymouth another good home, soon.

Also, it’s important to mention, that we are not certain as of yet that any of our chickens, are not also roosters. That would be so heartbreaking to us, because we are so attached to them all, and Weymouth is hard enough to let go.  It’s just kind of early to tell for sure, and especially with different breeds, the evidence reveals itself in a varied time frame. So we’ll keep you posted.

And THAT my friends, is the update on our chickens! We continue to work on their coop, which will be a reveal we’ll be excited to share.
As well as other blog posts not chicken-related.  Our creativity may have taken a little nap, but it’s picking up speed as of late. We’ll see what we can show you soon.

Thanks so much for spending a bit of your time with us, today!

- Laura and Family

 

 

 

 

 

Come Meet Our Chicks!

Hanover_rhode_island_red_chick_chickens

Many of you know, I have been wanting chickens for a dang - long - time. It felt like forever, waiting to be able to get them! But that day has finally come. I have loved every second of the process of learning all about keeping chickens, learning … [Continue reading]

Protecting the Strawberries Growing in Gutters

007_strawberry-plants-protection

 I've been procrastinating doing this post that some of you have been waiting for, on the topic of how we're protecting our strawberry plants from birds, squirrels, and other small creatures that may be drawn to our delicious berries, and have their … [Continue reading]

Our New (Second) Bathroom – Finally!

007_bathroom_faucet

 Now, to all of you, this is likely just going to look like an ordinary bathroom. And in many ways, you'd be right.But to our family of 6, who has lived with one bathroom all of our growing family life, it is the end of never using the bathroom, … [Continue reading]

Wild Orange Lip Balm – Recipe and DIY How-To

008_homemade-Wild-Orange-lip-balms

I'm so happy I now know how to make our own awesome lip balm!  It's all-natural, made right at home, and in our extensive experience and personal opinion, it's the best lip balm we have ever tried. This one is Wild Orange; made with real wild orange … [Continue reading]

Strawberry Planting in Rain Gutters

000_strawberry-planting-in-rain-gutters

 We've have grown strawberries in our gardens going for five seasons now, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it!While strawberry plants generally comes back and produce for 3-4 years before they are done, we managed to squeeze one more year out of ours. … [Continue reading]

The Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil and 25 Ways to Use It.

lavender flowers on a farm, provence , france

Of all essential oils, Lavender is the most widely used essential oil in the world, and certainly one of the most versatile. It permeates a delightful scent which most can appreciate, and as most know, has proven to relax one to the point of … [Continue reading]

Ham, Swiss, and Asparagus Rolls on a Bed of Potato – Recipe

000_ham-swiss-asparagus-rolls-potato-casserole

 Our family really loves to try new recipes.  We love food in general, and certainly love to be gathered around the table together, with lots of it. We have many favorite meals that we have on a regular basis, but it's always fun and exciting to try … [Continue reading]

Win a Family Physician Starter Kit of Essential Oils!

Just look at what this happy day has brought you! Another chance to win dōTERRAEssential Oils. Whether you want to add to the supply of oils you already have in your home, or try using essential oils for the first time, winning this valuable kit … [Continue reading]

My Art Style | Pushing Outside of my Comfort Zone

00_

For the past several months, about one night a week, a friend of mine comes over to play with me in the art studio.  It started out because she wanted me to give her watercolor lessons. But ultimately, I never could get quite comfortable in that … [Continue reading]

Sat – Essential Spring Cleaning Event – Stinky Boys, Cleaning with Oils, Water Bead Diffuser

all-natural-house-cleaning-recipes-tips

Oh my; we're really at the tail-end of The Essential Spring Cleaning Event now! Tomorrow is our last day. It hasn't been easy getting a post out daily here, but I've managed, hoping it's been a real help and inspiration for you all, in your upcoming … [Continue reading]

Fri – Clean with Natural Products, Keep Bugs Out, Chemical-Free Kitchen, and Favorite Ways to Use Essential Oils to Spring Clean

all-natural-house-cleaning-recipes-tips

Oh my; we're really at the tail-end of The Essential Spring Cleaning Event now! Tomorrow is our last day. It hasn't been easy getting a post out daily here, but I've managed, hoping it's been a real help and inspiration for you all, in your upcoming … [Continue reading]