Well that didn’t take very long! The day after we officially identified one of the hens as a definite rooster due to his body, comb and waddle size, he makes a faint attempt to crow!
OK, so I didn’t have my camera for the first one, so I ran to get it and had to convince him to do it again!
Now, I know he doesn’t have the most beautiful voice today, but give him a break! He’s only 3 1/2 months old! He’s gotta work them vocal cords a little before he’s ready for the opera!
Now I know you are saying “But Roosters are MEAN!” but he doesn’t have to be! I’ve been feeding him by hand his favorite snacks, black oil sunflower seeds! So he likes being around me. I can pick him up too! Now he doesn’t just sit and wait for me to pick up him, but he doesn’t really try to run away either. We are developing a great relationship!
We are excited to see what a beauty he’s going to be.
One of these things is not like the others…. One of these hens just doesn’t belong!
So we suspect we have a Rooster in our midst!
When you buy Pullets (hens) you expect ALL of them to be egg laying hens. Unfortunately it isn’t easy to determine the sex of 1-2 day old chicks. The hatcheries literally hire a few very talented individuals who apparently get paid a lot of money since they possess a rare ability to know the difference of these tiny private parts on iddy bitty chicks.
Well, it’s been our experience that they are periodically wrong, and they even legally document on sale that you may end up with a rooster because of mother nature.
Well! We are not disappointed though. We enjoy looking at the extra beautiful feathering that roosters get. We also enjoy some of their quirks. Plus they are protective of the ladies, so God forbid a predator manages to get to them, the rooster will sacrifice himself to defend his precious girls! Some roosters have been known to even kill hawks!
See if you can tell which chicken doesn’t look like the others on their YouTube Channel:
Sorry to say but we have one sick chick that didn’t make it. We usually lose one each batch but usually it happens during their first month so it was very sad for us. Chicks are more delicate than most people would like to think!
When we have a sick chicken it’s number one priority to clean out the entire coop top to bottom. So while the chicks had been afraid to venture out their chicken door, they had no choice today! I had to chase and catch them one at a time to get them outside. None of us were happy about it!
As you can see, the girls are scared to death! I’m sure they will eventually get used to it, but for now, they quickly ran back into their cozy Tajma Coop when given the chance!
RIP my little friend. Hope you have fun pecking your way over the rainbow bridge!
The time is finally here! It’s moving day! The girls get to move into the coop! After a long wait due to freezing weather the chicks finally get to move to the coop!
We decided the easiest way to move them was to pick them up one at a time out of the brooder and drop them inside. Of course there was a lot of chaos. They were scared to death! I eventually had to step inside the brooder to get the last two chicks!
You try to calm them down by talking nicely to them. “Yay! You are going to your new home! Look at that! There is a whole new world out here!” It’s so cute when they freeze up in your hands swinging their necks back and forth getting a glimpse of the flowers and trees, and listening to the wild birds outside.
It only seemed right to give the tiniest bird the first ride into the coop so she could settle nicely before the next one arrived. In reality they were all a little unsure for a little while. They actually got comfortable a little faster than other chicks we’ve had in the past.
Watch the first chick get moved to the coop and then see them all investigating the place on their YouTube Channel:
Every time I try to get into the brooder to change out water and food or clean, the chicks try to make a brake for it, jumping into the opening. Luckily they are too afraid to jump completely out, but it makes it difficult to get anything done. And I am having to the clean out the entire box every night now! They poop so much!
Honestly, they would already be out in the coop if it would stop snowing! It’s too cold for these little girls. Is it me or are they kind of ugly at this age? Maybe their current ugly personalities are shining through. There just isn’t enough room left in the box and they are getting moody with each other.
We have to keep track of the weather to plan ahead. We need to set up the coop for small birds. They aren’t ready to jump up on a roosts and can’t reach the adult feeding stations. It shouldn’t take long to make the changes needed. All we need is the weather to warm up!
Just checking the latest weather report, it looks like we will probably be able to move them in a week.
It just seems like yesterday that our little Black Australorps were just fuzzy with a few feathers. Now today their little pink combs are jumping out at me! I swear it happened overnight!
I check on them at least 3 or 4 times a day so it’s not like I’m not looking at them enough. But look at all their feathers! They are only tiny fuzz balls for a very short period of time. It’s a mixed blessing. You get so worried about them when they are that tiny. We have always lost one baby chick in the past but this group of girls, even the tiny one I was concerned about for awhile, have more then survived, they are thriving!
So why am I so concerned about combs? A comb is the first signal that you have a rooster. Their combs grow faster than hens. I see a couple good combs for such a young age. I keep wondering if I not only have a rooster, but possibly more than one!
It would be great to get a rooster, but I think more than one would be a problem. Too much fighting over the girls. I guess we will have to see!
Get a good look at the growing girls on their YouTube Channel:
Baby chicks are so skittish but put yourself in their shoes! Your tiny and people hands are huge! And the only things you have been exposed to are other baby chicks, food, water and a floor of pine chips. Now one of those people hands is dropping something new into your world. “What is that? What’s going on? Is that going to hurt me?”
One of our training toys we like to give our chicks when they are about 5 to 6 weeks old is a little perch so they can start getting used to roosting.
We weren’t prepared for how scared this batch of chicks would be when we put the perch in. They ran into the farthest corner away from the perch and started climbing all over each other fighting for the farthest spot. We were afraid all the jumping on top of each other was going to injure someone!
After about 15 minutes they finally calmed down but had collected behind their feeder. Leaving a barrier between then and the evil stick! They eventually moved out from behind the food the next morning, probably out of thirst. They completely avoided the area with the perch but that’s okay for now.
Over time our big chick got brave enough to jump up on the perch which fascinated all the others. Now you’ll find up to 3 chicks using the perch. No more fear here!
Hopefully they will translate this perch to a roost when they finally get into the coop.
OK, so our bully chick has gone far enough. We decided it was time to move the chicks into a bigger brooding pen. Give them twice as much space. More space to run away from the bully. Plus, they are growing SOOOO fast! Anyone would get irritable crammed into a small space with a bunch of siblings!
Luckily the hubby is very handy and just whipped up this nice big box and cover! He’s great that way.
We would have moved the girls into the actual coop but the there is still a good 10 days of potential snow in the forecast and the girls are only tolerating temperatures as low as 70 degrees right now. We don’t want to use the heating lamp to keep things warm in the coop because they are known to catch things on fire. Having the brooder inside our heated workshop we have much more control over the lamp, which is why we have a cover with chicken wire to keep the lamp from falling in.
With all the pine shavings and a heating element you can see how something could spark and start a fire!
When we finally move the girls into the coop in a couple weeks their only source of heat will be brooding panels which are made of ceramic. Those are safe touching pine shavings.Next step is getting these girls used to temperature drops so they will be prepared for their final home!
This baby chick doesn’t look like the others. It has eyes that look more like a hawk than a chicken. This chick is also much bigger than the others. We are trying to figure out if it is a rooster or not.
And it’s not just the size or stare, but the other things this chick does that makes us wonder.
This chick is the only one jumping up on top of the brooder panel instead of going under it. Also, jumping on top of the waterer had become a favorite thing to do. Not cool! I’m tired of cleaning out the waterer 3 times a day to remove your poop!
And if there was ever a bully on the block, this chick would be it. Jumping on top of others, pulling a feather or two, and the most recent, pecking another chick in the eye!
You better hope you are a rooster or you will not be welcome in our home! We’ve had enough hens with attitude and will not tolerate it!
Check out YouTube and you decide if this chick is a rooster:
Baby chicks grow up so fast! Here they are at 3 weeks old. Starting to get personalities! There is the tiny one that cries a lot and you have to keep cleaning poop off her butt because she doesn’t move as well as the others. Believe me it’s a real thing! Called Pasty Butt. It can actually be deadly! She worried me but it finally getting bigger and healthier.
Then there is the bold one. The one that makes you wonder if she is a Rooster. Well, hard to say, but I’d prefer her to be a Rooster rather then that wild of a hen! She will be a handful! If it’s a Rooster he will have his talons full keeping the girls in line so won’t be as big a problem to me.
Ohhhhh they grow so fast!
See the girls at 3 weeks on their YouTube Channel: