Archive for the ‘Chickens’ Category

Mystery Chicks Contest Update – 8 Weeks


Pictures of our mystery chicks at 8 weeks.  Any new guesses?  If so, see the original contest page!

Chick A – View 1

Chick A – View 2

Chick B – View 1

Chick B – View 2

Chick C – View 1

 

Chick C – View 2

 

Mystery Chicks Contest Update – 2.5 weeks


All the chicks are starting to get their wing and tail feathers, and we’re getting a bit more convinced of what breeds our 3 mystery birds might be.  Here are some new photos.  If you think you’ve got an answer (or your answer has changed), post a comment on the contest page.

Chick A – I can’t help but think of the Looney Tunes “Chickenhawk” character when I look at her.

Chick B (in the middle of the photo surrounded by Barred Rocks)

Chick C. Color is really coming in on her.

Any new guesses?

 

Mystery Chick Contest Update – 10 Days


The chicks are doing well for the most part.  We lost two barred rock chicks in the first few days, but the others are thriving.  We’ve already removed 2 sides of the smaller enclosure to allow the chicks a bit more room.  They grow pretty quickly, and for those of you participating (or desiring) to compete in the contest, here are some updated photos.  Feel free to change your answers at any time as the chicks become more recognizable.

Chick A – 10 days

Chick B – 10 days

Chick C – 10 days

Feel free to join in!  Just click here to read the details and submit an entry.

Contest: Identify the Mystery Chicks!


Our first contest…  Be the first to identify (correctly) the breeds and genders of our mystery chicks and win our grand prize!

As a surprise for David, we added 3 hatchery-choice “mystery chicks” to his order of Barred Rocks without his knowing it.   They are supposed to be 3 different breeds of brown egg layers.  The kids have made guesses on their breeds, and I think they’re definitely right on two of the three, but I’ll keep their guesses secret for now.

Rules:
1) To enter, simply post a comment with ONE guess for each chick’s identity.  Something like:

  • Chick A: Pearl Guinea Fowl, female
  • Chick B: Ruffed Grouse, male
  • Chick C: Purple Tribble, hermaphrodite

2) We’ll keep the blog posted with pics as the chicks mature, and announce our findings when we’re really sure.
3) Any disagreements on the breed will be settled by Judy, “the Chicken Lady,” at Clark’s Grain Store.
4) Winner will be the first (based on the time/date stamp of the comment) with all three breeds and genders correctly identified.
5) Make sure there’s some way for me to get in touch with you – if your sign-in name doesn’t have a way to do that, you can shoot us an email (our contact info is on our farm website: http://www.flyingtnh.com).  Just make sure to identify yourself and your post.

The prize?  Public recognition on our blog, bragging rights, and (if you desire) a guest-post on your blog acknowledging your chicken identification expertise!

Three hints:
1) They should all be breeds that lay brown eggs.
2) They are supposed to be females.
3) Hatcheries make mistakes from time to time, so the above hints might not apply.

So, without further ado, I present the lineup of our dastardly suspects:

Chick A: Wanted for possession of an unlicensed peeper

Chick B: Accused of appearing in public with an indecent hairdo

Chick C: Wanted for grain rustling

New Chicks!


David’s original hens are approaching 2 years old and starting to slow down in production, and a skunk took out the eggs our broody hen was sitting on that were planned to be replacement layers.

So David used some of his profits to buy more chicks.  This morning, just after 6, the nice woman who runs the local post office called to tell us they had arrived.  So we hopped into the car and drove down the hill.

IMG_4835

The early boy gets the birds

You may think the post office is only open from 9-5, but the work starts a lot earlier.

Lots of peeping going on in that box!

Time to go home!

David ordered 25 barred rock hens, plus 2 roosters.  We also added an additional free chick the hatchery calls a “meal-maker” – in return, David promises to give the eggs she produces to needy people.  Then, as a surprise for David, we added 3 “hatchery choice” mystery hens (the brown ones in the photo).  The kids are trying to figure out what kind they are.  The hatchery also added a couple extras just in case there were losses.

All of them made it safely!

Transfering the chicks to the brooder… please excuse the messy garage – I just finished making the brooder, and I tend to make a mess when I work.

Chicks in the their new home. The brooder is 4×4, but I put in a smaller divider for the first few weeks to keep them warmer.

The family spent a few minutes monitoring the chicks to make sure they were happy and not indicating any distress.

They should be laying by May!

Prize Rooster


In our last post, we mentioned that David’s barred rock roo won “Best Standard Cock” in show in the open class.  Here is a pic of the proud chickenman and his bird!

David has these words of wisdom about showing well at the fair:

“You need to clean him well and wash his feet with a toothbrush with a little soap to get the dirt out.  Clean feet are important.  The judge may pick up the bird and look at his feet.  When you wash them, you have three containers.  One is soapy water, and you dunk him three times and get soap on his back.  In container two, you put water in it and dunk him three times.  The next one has vinegar in the water, and you put him in that and it makes his feathers all shiny and ready for the show.  Then you gently gently wrap him with a dog towel like he’s in a sleeping bag.  Then you dry him off.  Then take a little petroleum jelly to rub his wattles and comb and shanks on the day before the show to make them shiny so the judges are impressed.”

Mom’s disclaimer:  Be careful when you dunk the chicken not to immerse their heads – they can easily drown.

State Fair Time


Many kids had their first week of school last week, as did ours.  However, as homeschoolers, we can be a bit creative in how we spend those days.  Last week, from Tuesday through Labor Day, the kids hit science hard… animal science.  They did this through their participation in the Hopkinton State Fair in Contoocook, NH.  This was the capstone event after a year of hard work with animals, crafts, and other 4H and farm endeavors.  All that effort really paid off!

Our 8yo son’s big project this year has been his chickens.  If you’ve read our blogs, you know that he runs the egg business on the farm.  Since he is too young this year to show animal projects with 4H, he entered his barred rock rooster in the open class… and won best in show!  We’ll add pictures later of him holding his rooster and ribbon, but here are a few we’ve already downloaded.

Sister helping to get the rooster washed for the fair.

First Place!

His sisters also won blue ribbons for their duck pairs, with Hana winning “Best pair of ducks” overall.

Friday was the horse show, and Holly was blessed to have her coach, Janine, from Gelinas Farms volunteer to spend the day with her.  Janine’s biggest challenge was not helping with getting Zip ready (4H rules state that the kid does all the work), but she really helped out with last-minute coaching tips.

All that coaching made a difference, and Holly ended up winning Grand Champion for her class!

Saturday was the 4H goat show, and the girls really enjoyed doing that for the first time – they earned blue ribbons in several events, with Holly and Ruby edging out Hana and Samy at the end.

Sunday and Monday topped off the long weekend, with pack and obstacle courses, knowledge tests and a quiz bowl, volunteering at the 4H exhibits and food stands, and lots of feeding, cleaning, and talking to the public.  The kids had earned enough ribbons to fill their walls (and enough premiums to treat themselves and their animals to some new gear).  By the time we pulled out of the fair Monday evening, we were all ready for a rest!