Monday, May 30, 2016

Making a Homestead: Chicken Madness!

            It's been awhile since I've done a homesteading update. To be honest, not a lot has been going on. We got everything planted. We don't have a tiller so we were lazy and just placed the seeds directly in the ground without "preparing it", so I'm not holding my breath too much. We're taking the "if it's meant to live, it will pop up" approach with our seeds this year. lol We'll get a tiller some day, I'm sure, but today is not that day.
            My main focus lately has been the chickens. I really liked chickens before, but I think I can safely say I have gone chicken crazy! I am finding out for myself what the term "chicken math" is all about. The struggle is real. To recap...
            We started out with 10 chickens: 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Black Australorps, 2 Amerecuanas (aka Easter eggers), and 2 Silver-laced Wyandottes. One poor fellar or fellarette died a day or two after we got him or her. (One of the Easter eggers.) Three weekends ago I bought 2 White Brahmas and another Easter egger to replace the one that passed away. Yesterday, we bought 2 Silky Bantams and a Silver Hamburg. Are you still following? Our original 10 chicks turned into 15!
            I got the Brahmas because hubby talked me into it and I was feeling sorry for myself that weekend and chickens cheer me up. lol Plus, I like having pairs, hence the new Amerecuana. Our original intention of going to Rural King yesterday was to get more chicken feed and cat food. I even told John, "We should just not even go by the chickens, otherwise we're going to end up wanting some." His reply was, "But what if they have some on sale?" Yah. lol And that's how we ended up with the bantam Silkies (only $1 each) and the Silver Hamburg. In my defense, I had been wanting some bantams are Silkies are so ridiculous looking, I couldn't resist. Admittedly, I knew nothing about Silver Hamburgs, but they look really pretty when they're adults. :D
            If it's not already clear how obsessed I am, I have been taking about as many pictures of the chickens as I do my kids. lol So, I thought I would share my "chicken madness" in some pictures below.

            These are my two pretty girls. The one on the left is Yasmine, our Amerecuana from the first batch. (Yes, they all have names. Yes, we still plan on eating them eventually.) The one on the right is one of our Silver-laced Wyandottes, Lacey. They're both a little skittish still, but they're slowly coming around. ;)

            Here we have Bertha and Gladyss, our two Buffs, and Esmerelda, one of our Black Australorps, in the back. Bertha is our friendliest chicken of all and she is mine and Myka's bff. lol Esmerelda is the friendlier of the two Australorps. We think the other one may be a rooster.
            Perching on the right is Yasmine again, and Bertha and Esmerelda. I think that was the day they discovered, by watching me, they could sit up there. lol

            I'm very glad Myka likes the chickens, but she has a bad habit of getting up in their business!

            That's our bff Bertha I'm petting. How do you make friends with chickens? Treats. Lots and lots of treats. lol I used to bring them chickweed from the yard almost daily when they were still in their coop 24/7. It's free and they love it!

            This was the first day we tried to let them out. They were doing good...until our new cat, Trixie, chased them back inside. She hasn't been a problem since and I'm pretty sure Brutus could care less about them. I let him in the chicken coop for a short time this evening and I honestly think the only reason he comes near the chickens is because he wants me to pet him while I'm out there. lol

            Our much more successful first few days outside after the great cat scare of 2016. lol They're awesome little weed eaters and lawn mowers!

            Here is a more recent pic of my pretty Lacey girl on the left. Top right, Gladyss and Esmerelda photo bombing my picture of Yasmine. Can you see her puffy cheeks now? So fun! By the way, they are called Easter eggers because they can lay light blue, green, or even pinkish colored eggs! Bottom right is Esmerelda again. She is one of my favorite birds personality-wise. She still doesn't like to be petted, but she did perch on my hand one day while I was looking away and keeping an eye on Myka with the baby chicks. She scared the crap out of me!

            Here's good ole Bertha again recently. She was pecking my toes, the turd. Good thing I usually have boots on because she likes pecking at those too. lol

            Last, but not least, here are our newer chickies. We don't have names for them yet because I don't really have a feel for their personalities yet. ;) On the left are the two Brahmas and Amerecuana. Even though they other two are going to be huge in comparison and already obviously quite a bit larger, they are all buddies. We've tried putting the Brahmas in with the older girls and all three of them go into panic mode, trying to get back together. (We have the little ones "fenced in" in one corner.)
            Top right is the Silver Spangled Hamburg and bottom right is one of the Bantam Silkies. Look both up. The Hamburg is really pretty and the Silky is just a little ball of fluff!
            Well, there you have it. Told you I was nuts! In case you're wondering the other ones names (I'm sure you're not, but you're about to find out anyways) are, the Barred Rocks are Margaret and Julie, the other Silver-laced is Victoria, and the possible rooster Australorp is Australorpenegger (John came up with that one. I don't feel like explaining our crazy train of thought on that! lol).

            So, have I convinced you to get backyard chickens yet? They're fun and a lot more entertaining than you would think. They're kind of like cats as far as the amount of care they require. As long as they have food and water they go about their merry way. Plus, you can actually get food from them eventually! Damn freeloading cats! What do you have to say for yourselves?! lol Until next time...

The Chicken Chick 

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