Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baby Chicks~ The 3rd Week

As the baby chicks start their 3rd week of life.......
These photos were taken on Monday, April 27th, exactly two weeks after being with us.
The past week, the chicks' wing feathers have continued to grow.  Some have quite a bit more wing length than others, but they're all growing steadily.

This blonde Blue Andalusian is growing nice wing feathers and even her tail feathers are growing longer.  The other Blue Andalusian is at the far end and is growing nice long wing feathers as well.

This Phoenix chick's back feathers are filling in

Starting to see more of the black & white barred pattern on the Dominique chicks

Not only are the chicks' feathers filling in, they're also growing taller.

From left to right: Dominique, Blue Andalusian, Phoenix

Golden Laced Wyandotte

Center: Golden Campine

Center front: Egyptian Fayoumis

Now that they all have developed more wing feathers, they like to flap their way around the brooder. The other day, one of them flapped her way up to the top of the brooder and perched on the edge.  If I have the cover off of the brooder, I can't turn my back now.

Each day the chicks look less like the little fuzzy babies they were when they arrived 2 weeks ago and more like miniature chickens.    I can't wait to see the changes they make during this next week.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Happy 8 Weeks Old, Buster!

***I'm a few days late posting this.  I began this post last week and was unable to finish & post it on Friday morning.  Just imagine you are reading this last Friday!!***

Four weeks ago tomorrow we brought home this adorable, furry little Flemish Giant bunny. He was 4 weeks old at the time and is now celebrating being 8 weeks old.

4 weeks old....he loves fresh kale from the garden

For the time being he's a house bunny.  He has a cage in our dining room where he spends most of his time since the cats & dogs show too much interest in him.

4 weeks old.....delicious kale!

He gets to go outside on the deck in an exercise pen to get fresh air, enjoy the sunshine and stretch his legs.

4 weeks old.....Buster loves cuddling with Madelyn

Buster likes to hop into Madelyn's lap to relax.  He loves attention & petting.

5 weeks old....Easter morning......Onyx & Nox are never too far away

The cats are always watching, stalking.  I'm not sure if they'd deliberately try to hurt him, and I haven't given them the opportunity to try. 

5 weeks old......Nox says, "Mmmm yummy bunny"

Just before I snapped these pictures above, both Onyx & Nox were in the chair watching.

6 weeks old

Wow, he's 6 weeks!  He loves eating his timothy pellets & hay and any salad greens, spinach, kale, etc.

6 weeks old.....he's getting bigger

Last week Buster wasn't feeling well.  He stopped eating & seemed constipated.  He quickly lost weight, completely lost his appetite.

7 weeks old.....enjoying the sun, but feeling under the weather

Friday morning he had diarrhea & still wasn't eating.  I took him to the vet Friday afternoon.  The doctor checked for parasites & bacteria, but both were inconclusive.  It was possible he could have a virus and the treatment for both bacterial & viral infections would be the same.  After a fluid injection for dehydration, we were sent home with Critical Care food (a powder to be mixed with water to form a paste to be syringe fed), pain meds (he was grinding his teeth, a sign of pain), a pro-biotic paste, & an antibiotic.

7 weeks old

He took his meds like a champ and began feeling better within a couple of days.  His appetite returned and he began eating his usual diet of pellets, hay & salad greens.  We also discovered that he loves celery!  It has been a big help in getting him to take his antibiotic.  I place the syringe in the celery and hold the celery tight so that he is only able to take bites of it.  As he's biting on the celery, I slowly push the antibiotic into his mouth.  It only takes a couple seconds and he has no idea he's taking medicine.

8 weeks old

Now that his appetite has returned and he's putting weight back on, I imagine he'll be growing quickly into that giant size bunny he should be.

8 weeks old

He wasn't feeling very photogenic for his 8 week photos.  He's too busy enjoying the sun.

8 weeks old

He would rather just take a nap.....

8 weeks old

....Or eat kale.....his favorite treat from the garden.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chicken Coop Progress #2

The empty greenhouse, ready to have the plastic siding removed

In just over a week's time, we've put in quite a few hours working on the chicken coop.  First, we had to clear out all the garden supplies from the greenhouse.

All clear!

It was used more for a garden shed than a greenhouse.  Eventually we'll replace the plywood on this platform and build a different shed here for the garden tools.

After another day's work, the siding & roof have been removed

Once it was cleared out, we were able to start removing the plastic siding panels.  We've set them all aside and may use some of them for the roof in the chicken run.

Another view...the scalloped trim pieces still need to be removed.  They're dry & brittle and break apart making for tedious work.

I don't think I've included a view of the original location of the greenhouse with the new location of the chicken coop (the blue tarp).  They're only about 30 feet apart, on opposite sides of the fence.

This was the work from this past Sunday.
The frame was disassembled and moved one wall at a time.

Another view

A couple hours later.....The walls & roof ridge are reassembled.

And a couple more hours.....The roof pieces are now reassembled.

A side view....this side will have 2 windows and the pop door for the chickens.

This side needs a little reframing.
We flipped this wall so that the door will be on the left instead of the right like it was in the greenhouse.  There will also be a window on the right and a round window in the peak.

The 2 photos below show where we are now

 This wall still needs to be framed for the door and windows

Tuesday we began putting the walls up.  We were able to complete 2 full sides and most of a 3rd wall before beginning to work on the roof.  We're using full sheets of plywood where needed first and then will come back afterwards to finish the smaller areas with the scrap pieces.

The opening on this wall isn't actually a door.  This opening will be closed in with extra plywood and the pop door for the chickens will be at the bottom center and we'll make a ramp for them to walk up.  I would like the wall area to be trimmed as a faux door, however.  There will be a window on either side of the faux door with the pop door at the bottom.  It'll be cute for sure!

Once the wall and roof plywood are complete, we'll cut windows in all the walls.  I've planned 7 windows about 15x15, a round accent window, the pop door for the chickens and the "people" door.  The interior will be completely painted and on the exterior we're planning to use cedar fence pickets turned horizontally as siding and will have a metal roof.

Hoping to have a lot more progress to report next week, but we've had some rain moving in.  We'll work in between rain showers when we can.  If you need to catch up on the coop progress, click the links below.

There's a Chicken Coop in Our Future

Baby Chicks~ The 2nd Week

As the chicks start their second week of life........
These photos were taken on Monday, April 20th, exactly one week after being with us.
The most noticeable growth taken place in the past week is the wing feather development.

The new wing feathers on the Phoenix

Check out the wing feathers on the blonde Blue Andalusian

I was bummed to see that this photo turned out blurry.....
The top chick is the other Blue Andalusian and the one below it is a Dominique.

The top chick is a Golden Campine (check out the little tail feathers too!)
The little one is a Golden Laced Wyandotte.

Both of these are Golden Laced Wyandotte

Another shot of the Phoenix feathers.

I'm planning to take photos of the chicks' growth each Monday and hopefully post their update each Tuesday morning.  I'm just a little late this week since I've been so busy with other things....updates on everything coming in the next couple days!

Baby Chicks' First Days

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to post these pictures from last week, Monday through Friday, the baby chicks' first 5 days with us.

Day 1
I picked up the chicks from the post office early Monday morning.
There are 27 chicks about 3 days old.

Day 2
Everyone seems to be doing well.  We're slowly figuring out which breed is which.
The "blonde" chick is one of two Blue Andalusians.

The little brown chick in the center is one of two Egyptian Fayoumis.
The few chicks with the dark brown stripe on their back are Golden Laced Wyandotte.

The two chicks with the light faces are Phoenix.  There are 2 roosters & 2 hens.
The chick with the light spot on its head is a Dominique.
There are 7 Dominiques, 6 hens & probably a rooster 

Day 3

Wednesday morning didn't start out very well.  The only Buttercup hen that I had died.  She didn't look very well Tuesday evening and barely made it through the night.

Chicks being chicks......pecking & scratching through the bedding looking for food.

This is our set up.  All 26 baby chicks are in one bin with food, water & a heat lamp.
The hardware cloth screen keeps the chicks in and everything else out.
The 2nd bin is ready for when I need to divide the chicks.

Day 4
Chicks are doing well.  The chick on the front left is the 2nd Blue Andalusian.  The chick behind that is a Golden Laced Wyandotte.  The brown chick close to the center is an Egyptian Fayoumis.
The chick eating is a Golden Campine.  The chick with the light spot on the head is a Dominique and the chick beside it with the dark stripe is a Phoenix.

The blonde Blue Andalusian

Day 5

The Great Divide
After changing the bedding on Friday, one of the Dominique chicks had the urge to peck at everyone's eyes.  I'm not sure if that was a sign of being crowded or stress from being moved around when I cleaned their brooder.  Not wanting to take a chance of having injured chicks, I decided to divide them....13 chicks in each brooder.

4 Phoenix, 2 Blue Andalusian & 7 Dominique

5 Golden Campine, 6 Golden Laced Wyandotte, 2 Egyptian Fayoumis

So, that's the chicks' first 5 days with us.  Their wing feathers are getting a little more developed and some are even showing signs of tail feathers.