Tuesday, August 26, 2008

3 weeks old

Here are some photos of the girls at 3 weeks. Andie is sporting a very sophisticated hairdoo. They enjoyed munching on the grass and eating mosquitoes that I smacked on my legs and then handed to them. Gotta give them a taste for those buggers!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Peaceful vacation

Well we loaded up the girls in the car and drove up to the Berkshires. The drive was relaxing and comfortable.

Ha ha. Actually Lindsay is nicely showing you how roomy the new brooder cage is for the little ones. Our friend Courtenay loaned us her dog's cage and it is great. I was getting sick of having no real solid floor on the bottom of the first cage. I had to lay down a towel and then put paper towels on top of it. The girls learned how to scratch the ground a week ago, so the paper towels went everywhere, and subsequently their poop went everywhere as well. This new cage has a solid bottom so I can lay down pine shavings. Chickens get sick with cedar shavings, so they should never be used. I put cardboard around the bottom of the cage to keep the pine shavings from being kicked out of the cage. It's working perfectly. Plus the chicks have gotten so huge! Their heads are about the size their entire bodies were when they first arrived.

The first day we were here, Lindsay and I went out to hunt for good perching sticks. We put in two perches and already the girls have discovered them and love hanging out on them. They sleep on them at night, which is something adult chickens do.

This picture just makes my teeth hurt it's so cute. They look like owls or some other kind of wild bird to me. Andie's hairdo is getting funny. Her feathers are really coming in and standing straight up on her head. She has a kind of ratty mohwak. At the end of their second week, they have gotten feathers on their chest and around their necks. They still have fluff down their midlines (heads, backs, tushes, and lower bellies)

They LOVE grapes and make us laugh hysterically as they run around their cage cheeping like lunatics and trying to keep their prized grape pieces away from the others. They are so frantic that they don't realize that all of them have grape pieces. So that means that 3 chicks are running around the cage like pinballs trying to avoid the others. Lindsay was practically crying, she was laughing so hard.

Of course we let them go outside and taste all of the delicious Berkshire grass. We have to keep a close watch on them because the yard is big and there are usually hawks flying overhead. I think they are enjoying their vacation as much as we are.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Going on Holiday

We're leaving tonight to go to the Berkshires. Neil's sister Dani is turning 40 and his parents are flying out to celebrate. We will stay at their house while they are gone. And, yes, we're bringing the chicks with us! Their area is one of the last holdouts for high speed internet, so I won't post while we're up there. They have dial-up! Remember that? Good news is that their town is planning on getting dsl this winter!

So, I'll leave you with some beautiful pen and ink drawings of Kip Mieke Roth's. Kip made drawings of chicks growing up. Lisa and Robb have both directed me to them and they are lovely.

I brought the chicks into Lindsay's pre-school today and they were a bit hit. Lindsay was in heaven being the teacher with her friends. I brought our inflatable kiddie pool and put them in it. That kept them protected from 18 sets of very excited hands. What cracks me up about NYC is that you can walk down the street with a cage of chickens and a kiddie pool and nobody blinks an eye!
The chicks survived the visit and even showed off for the kids by flying up onto the side of the pool and strutting around. I think I am definitely securing my crazy chicken lady title!

Monday, August 4, 2008

10 Days old

It's been fascinating to watch the changes these chicks have gone through already. In their second week they have tripled in size, started to scratch the ground and learned to fly about 2' off the ground. They have quite a lot of feathers on their wings and they have gotten silly little tail feathers. They start to look really mangy when the feathers start to push through the baby fluff. It will be pretty hilarious to see how scruffy they look when the feathers on their necks and faces start to come in.

In these photos you can see the girls (mostly Andie) getting feathers along their shoulders at the top of their wings. Andie's feathers are developing faster than the others, although she's now the smallest of the group. Pushy Louise (who we may start calling LuLu) has overtaken Andie in size and is my bet for the dominant hen. I keep saying I hope she doesn't turn into a rooster! Someone on the chicken forum I read had a saying that holds true for me. "If it lays it stays, if it crows it goes" Let's not talk about the fact that I just admitted to reading a chicken forum.

Now I will attempt to distract you from my nerdiness with some cute chick photos...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ahoy Matey

This silly chicken thinks it's a parrot. I was sitting at my desk and the chicks were practicing flying. Louise was able to flap up to my lap and then up to my shoulder. Of course my camera was downstairs and I wasn't about to walk downstairs past the cat with a chicken on my shoulder to get a photo. So this is w/ my cell phone and makes me look about as bad as possible, but I had to capture her triumph. I'm not sold on the sensation of weird reptilian claws walking around on my shoulders and neck.

I took more photos this afternoon, and will post them shortly to make up for the awfulness of this one.

This afternoon Stephanie, who I met through her blog and who works in this neighborhood, came by to meet the chicks. We were talking about crazy chicken owners (of whom I am one), and I mentioned people who keep their chickens in their house and put diapers on them to avoid the poop problem. There are even patterns for these chicken diapers online. I swore I would never turn into one of those crazy chicken people. I still do, although I think this parrot/chicken thing is loosening my footing on the slippery slope to crazy town.

And in case you have never heard of chicken diapers, let alone laid eyes on them. Here's a visual. The straps get lost in the feathers (so I've read).

Oh, I figured out that I can take a photo w/ my computer, so here's another grainy one.