Ira Bea, the Beauty Queen

Ira Bea, the Beauty Queen
Ira Bea, 2 days old

Monday, June 25, 2012

Days 30-40 June 14-24th

So many changes to report! 

We came in to find Ira Bea had a broken toe, as did Sweet Pea. We attempted to splint Ira Bea's toe(a little squeamishly at first on my part since I am always afraid to hurt them). She had taken off her taped on splint within a minute or so. The toe appears to have set itself, and we attempted a few times to see if she was in any pain but it doesn't seem that way. Sweet Pea doesn't appear to be in any pain either. 

We have been spending all of our spare time trying to complete the chicken coop. Our coop is 4 feet wide and 4 feet high and 4 feet long. The coop is an additional 2 feet high at the base. The total measurements for the run are 4 feet wide by 6 feet long by 10 feet long. It has  been a way bigger expense than we had anticipated. That being said, it looks really good and will be a really solid place for the chickens to live. The coop is completely constructed with the run going up quickly. We have the 6 posts for the run and the top and bottom supports done as well as lattice inserts for between the legs of the coop.  The run door will be framed and  the hardware cloth will be going up tomorrow! The chickens should be installed in their new home by mid-week. 
Coop front before paint and side with the egg door opening

The floor is removable for easy cleaning 
June 15th:

The chickens got their first taste of the outdoors! We put them in a wire kennel that we normally use for our dogs and let them get acclimated to the heat. Our dogs ran around the cage and watched "Chick TV" as I like to call it. After watching them for a little bit, the dogs just ran off to play in the yard. Success! 

June 24th:

The chickens are now getting even more variation in their coloring. Irene has gotten white feathers around her eyes and up the neck. Sweet Pea is becoming more golden, Coq au Vanessa is getting redder, and Eula Mae is becoming a bit buff in color. The girls are so pretty! 

Coq Au Vanessa, Lucy and Ira Bea

Sweet Pea, Ira Bea, Eula Mae, Scallop


Sweet Pea, Scallop

Eula Mae in the center, looking like a big girl

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Days 20-29: June 2-13 (another photo heavy post)

It never ceases to amaze me how many changes can take place in just one month.... Tomorrow marks one month from the chickens' hatch date and they are remarkably different in every way.  Feathers cover 90% of their bodies and they have developed feather leg quarters. Flying around the brooder in response to our household movements is a new favorite pass time for our birds. 

June 9:

The chickens got to come out on carpet for the first time a few days ago and it was nothing short of adorable! They ran around and postured and peeped and then settled in.

Scallop posing for her photo

Sweet Pea and her lovely coloring

Our sweet little Lucy

Clockwise from bottom left: Irene, Coq Au Vanessa, Scallop, Jesus(our friend Mary's chick) and Ira Bea

Irene and Coq Au Vanessa

June 13:

This afternoon Lucy has discovered a particular affinity for jumping out of and roosting on the box. We can hardly get her to stay in the box for any period of time, so we are going to try placing a screened aquarium lid on the top of the box and hope for the best! 

Lucy surveying the new world she discovered
Coq Au Vanessa's golden color
Curious little Lucy
The feathering on the larger chickens has continued gradually. Color patterns have become pretty distinct and it is sometimes difficult to tell several of the chickens apart! It was easy to distinguish one from the other but now that stripes and facial patterns have blurred or disappeared, it is a bit of a challenge. 

Irene in the corner

Ira Bea starting to get more feathers in little by little

Slightly fuzzy photo of lucy

Eula Mae looking grown up

Sweet Pea settling in for the night

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Days 18-19: June 2-3

Necks and chests now have feathers. Coq au Vanessa and Sweet Pea have red-orange developing just below their necks. Eula Mae is fitting in with the flock nicely. We do have a little bit of an issue with chickens who like to perch on the waterer and attempting to fly. The brooder isn't very tall and if they perch on top of the waterer, they can almost escape. 

In other news, we have started on the coop! We have also purchased most of the materials needed to complete the attached run. We painted the exterior a really pretty soft, red brick color which should look lovely next to the dark green shrubs that will be bordering the enclosure. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 17: June 1

Our chickens are getting prettier by the day. Their wings have more color and patterns starting to emerge. I am almost positive that we have a few gold duckwing or gold laced wyandottes, possibly two silver duckwing/silver laced wyandottes (Lucy and Irene) and possibly a buff, wheaten or white (Eula Mae). 

Lucy and her new buddy Eula Mae

Irene and Sweet Pea , Ira Bea peeking off to the side and Scallop at the top

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Days 10-16: May 24-31

Sorry for all of the delays in posting everyone! We have a very good reason, I promise! Brandon and I got married on Monday the 28th and we have been doing last minute wedding preparations and were not able to post as much as either of us would have liked. This post will be *super* photo heavy to try and get all the changes in. 

May 23:
The beginnings of their tails!

Look at the patterns on their feathers. Ira hadn't really gotten any tail feathers at this point.

Coq au Vanessa and Lucy spreading their wings.
There have been SO many new changes with our little chickens. Their temperature was raised to 85 degrees, feathers have appeared down their backs, they have started to fly around the brooder box, perching on our fingers is starting to be fun, their wings have elongated so we are starting to see the patterns emerge and they have started dusting! 

May 24:
Coq au Vanessa shows off her tail

Scallop perched on Brandon's finger

Sweet Pea spreading her wings

Lucy, with new and improved darker beak

Coq au Vanessa displaying her wings

Coq au Vanessa with back feathers

Irene close up

Sweet Pea wing
Ira Bea came and sat with us on the bed and fell asleep as I stroked her head. Apparently another chicken startled her and she hopped over into the neckline of Brandon's robe. It was quite the picture, but she moved before he camera would focus. 

May 25:
Ira Bea and Papa Bran

Scallop and Bran

Lucy perched on Brandon's hand
I picked up a new bunch of chicks for our friend yesterday and he traded us one of his chicks for one of our older girls, so we have a new addition to our flock! One of our older girls went home with a friend of ours and now we have a one day old strawberry blonde chick named Eula Mae. She is so gentle and loving. All of our other chicks had to warm up to us, but little Eula Mae has loved to be held by us from the very start. She stands away from the others a bit, but otherwise she holds her own. Lucy and Sweet Pea are guarding her and keeping her safe. 

May 31: Eula Mae!
Eula Mae saying hello!

Sitting on Papa Bran's hand

She still has her egg beak on!

Such a cute chick, look at her stripes!

She had feathers on her wing at 1 day old!
More photos of our other chickens will be added later this evening, as well as a video of them dusting. Hooray! In other news, we have purchased a number of things to make the outdoor coop and are going to begin construction this weekend! Our birds are so hearty that we are almost positive they will be able to go outside for the first time since coming to live with us very soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Days 7-9: May 21-23

The past couple of days have been very slow going in Chickenland. We haven't seen a ton of progress, but they now have even more feathers on their wings and their tails are getting longer and filling in a bit more. The chickens are starting to look more like adolescents. Their necks have elongated and they are a little more sure in their movements. We will be posting new photos tomorrow.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 6- May 20th

Today the peepers got an infrared light! We had a 125 watt white brooder light previously and we felt like it stressed the chicks out a bit. Once or twice I would see the chicks peck each other. Since the chicks are needing less heat, we purchased a 100 watt infrared heat bulb. The chicks are so much calmer! 

The little chicks also got a great new treat this morning, fresh meal worms! It was one of the funniest things we have seen them do so far. One chick would run up to the dish of meal worms, pick one up and run all over the brooder box while trying to avoid the beaks of the other chicks, or in some cases, their own shadows. We took a video (sorry for all of the commentary!) and it's looking a little grainy on our end, so hopefully it plays alright on your end!

As promised, here are the photos of the new tail feathers!
Look at those little feathers!

Lucy refuses to go with the crowd

Coq au Vanessa is getting her blue feet in!

Lucy practicing her yoga pose!