Monday, May 9, 2011

Chickens, Today

First off, we have a heat advisory for tomorrow.... May 10th!  I noticed driving back from Fort Leavenworth yesterday that the small ponds have begun to dry up, and a vernal pond in a field near us, that kept water all last year even when our own went dry, has half-dried.  We need rain, and plenty of it.

There have been lots of things happening this past two weeks... we had a water line put in to the site of the new henhouse out in the garden, and a standpipe with a pump we can use all year.  This caused some ruckus, and we were left with a mess.  We also found out that the pump that has stood at the door of the big henhouse for seven years was operational, with some WD40.  It had been turned off in the wellhouse!

You can see the trench snaking out through the garden.  They finally brought in a small Kubota tractor to push the dirt, but left big mounds right at the edge of the deck.  Keith says they will eventually smooth out with the rains. 
We have had trouble with the electricity constantly in the big henhouse, and know now that it must have a major overhaul before winter.  I am not sure we can even run a fan, as we always do in summer, for the benefit of the birds.  Electricity was brought to the site of the new henhouse, but left capped off until the building is up.  It is moving along slowly. 
Keith has attached a hose to the new standpipe to use for the garden, which is working out great.  The peas are up and he cannot keep the red potatos covered... they are growing so fast. 
This was taken last week, and they are twice as high now.  We are a little worried that the heat is going to beat them down.

The Mille Fleur D'Uccles have joined the little flock in the little henhouse, but the pretty girl on the left was badly beaten up and is in the nursing cage now, with one eye swollen shut.  She's going to go to the juvenile pen as soon as she is healed.  The Welsummers and Partridge Rocks are in with the little bunch as well.
This little girl, one of the two who lived out of the first setting of eggs, was deformed.  I did not really SEE her until Thursday night, at four weeks.  She and the other living chick were so fast and active, following their two mamas, that I could never see her up close. This was the only time she had ever come out on the porch... the wood blocking the door had been knocked down, and as you can see, she was already in the process of dying, though had been running around the day before.  I honestly don't know how she had lived to eat or drink as long as she did, the beak was going in opposite directions. At least she felt the sun on her one time.

If you remember, two of the hens, Snowball and Flora, killed the other two chicks who lived to fluff out, and literally 17 chicks as they were pipping.  I also threw out about 8 eggs. Only one chick has now survived the first hatch. The deformed little pullet  died on Saturday night, and I had to climb into the henhouse and find it behind the two hens currently setting.  They hatched a tiny yellow chick Saturday, which I found fluffed out and pulling itself around.  I slipped it back under one of them, and have not seen it again.  Probably dead. 
My plan is once these super-setters are moved to the new henhouse, NO one will be "setting without permission" because all nests will be accessible. 
The other bantam juveniles (purebreds) are in a 4 x 4 pen, and tomorrow (heat permitting) we'll put together their temporary quarters.  Yes, we ended up with too many cockerels in those straight runs, so we'll have to do something about that soon.  It will be easier to get rid of the purebreds. 
Can't wait for the heat tomorrow!


  1. Looks like a lot going on around there. You can have our rain. I'm tired of it.

  2. Sounds like things are moving along.
    Looks like your Mother's Day was fun.
    The festival looks like fun--never heard of it.
    Would be fun to go to.

    Have a great week.



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