They’re Here!!

It’s that time again!!! Chick days are alive and well here at the Kuntry Klucker Farm. The girls are about to get some new neighbors. These little ones are going to call the Bantom Boutique and the Tardis home.

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Last November I ordered 9 chicks for this springs clutch. I ordered 9 Silkies an 4 Frizzle Cochins, a total of 9. Unfortunately one of the little Silkies did not make it. Among the surviving members are 2 Buff Silkies, 2 Black Silkies, and 4 Black Fizzle Cochins which will be added to The Kuntry Klucker Farm.

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For my brooder I use a puppy play pen and for the heat source I use a EcoGlow heater. The puppy play pen work very well as a brooder because it has raised sides which keep the shaving mess to a minimum and a closed top which keep the chicks from flying the coop. As they age they reach the flying phase which can frustrate many chick owners as they try to keep the chicks in the brooder. This product, although made for dogs doubles as a great brooder, all issues are covered in one simple setup.

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As dictated by tradition, day three of their life here at the Kuntry Klucker Farm is picture day! Chicks only have their soft downy appearance for about three days, after that they start to feather out and enter what I like to call the ugly duckling phase. So as always, I grab my camera and snap pics on the third day. I will share some of these with you below.

The 4 Frizzle Cochins will be joining the Bantom Boutique Crew when they are big enough to move out doors. The BB Crew will be known as the “freaky feather bunch”. When the Frizzle cochins feather out they will have a bit of a frizzle feather appearance, hence the name “Frizzle”. They will fit right in with the Polishes who have a bit of a frizzle appearance with their white crown feathers.

The Buff and Black Silkies will of course be joining the TARDIS crew which consists of 3 White Silkies and 1 Black Silkie. Currently I have one of the white Silkies sitting on a clutch consisting of 3 ceramic eggs. She went broody about 3 week ago, I plan to allow her to raise the 4 Silkie’s chicks for me and introduce them to the existing TARDIS Crew when she feels the time is right. I will of course chronicle this adventure for you as Miss Donna raises a clutch of 4 Silkie chicks. I had a successful adoption by Miss Katie our resident Buff Orphington Momma Hen last year. She did a great job in bringing up Aphridite for me. I hope to have the same success with Miss Donna. I will have a post about the adoption and my method coming soon.

But for now, we welcome the newest additions to the Kuntry Klucker Farm where chickens live like Kings, living the sweet life.

Here are few of the pics from our morning photo shoot. Baby pics!!

Stay tuned for a post on chick adoption by an existing broody. Till then, keep on clucking, the girls and I will see you soon.

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

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Sometimes you just need a Momma.

Hi everyone, toward the end of my last post I mentioned that I had a broody hen Miss Katie. When I last left you she was sitting on a few ceramic eggs that I placed under her. In doing so I was hoping that she would adopt my chicks when they arrived. This was the first time that I had ever attempted adoption by a broody hen. I had done research on the topic but never actually attempted it myself. Well I am pleased to say that the adoption was a complete success, Miss Katie is thrilled to be a momma again. In this post I will detail my procedure which lead to this successful outcome.

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Miss Katie is the mamma hen of my flock of Buff Orphingtons. As far as she is concerned it is her calling in life to be a momma to as many chicks as possible. She loves to sit on eggs and loves even more to teach her little ones how to be a chicken. It all started about three weeks before my chicks were to arrive at my local post office. Miss Katie as years before went broody wanting nothing more than just to sit on her eggs. Given this opportunity I went ahead and let her sit on some ceramic eggs in the Bantom Boutique. If I could keep her in the broody mindset she just might adopt the chicks that were to arrive in a few weeks. So on a gamble I went ahead and let her sit. She was determined that she was going to sit so I just provided her a private space away from the other girls and gave her some eggs to tend for a few weeks.

Normally when a mother hen sits on eggs she will make this her life purpose till they hatch. Knowing that Miss Katie was sitting on fake eggs I wondered if she would accept a chick that did not hatch from one of the eggs under her. This is where some careful planning and luck came in to play.

When the chicks first arrived I placed one under her, she accepted the baby chick with no problems as if it was her own that she hatched. The following is my method which lead to this successful adoption.

  1. First when Miss Katie went broody I let her sit. Since I do not have a rooster any natural eggs that she was sitting on would eventually go bad which would cause her to abandon the nest. To avoid this I placed under her 4 ceramic eggs. They look, feel, and radiate heat just like a real chicken egg does. To her there was no difference.

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2. Next I placed her in a private space separate from the girls. Since the Bantom Boutique was ready for the new arrivals I went ahead and put some shaving and the eggs in this coop. She then made her nest the way she wanted. After that the rest was up to her.

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3. I made sure that she was sitting for at least 2 weeks before the chicks would arrive. A natural incubation time for a sitting hen is about 20-23 days. From the time that Miss Katie went broody to the time that the chick would arrive was 21 days. Given the time frame this would align perfectly to a natural hatch as seen by Miss Katie’s perspective. This would make sure that she was sitting and in the broody mind set for at least 2 weeks. This time also gave me a good indication that she was ready to sit for the term of the incubation period.

4. When the chicks finally arrived I placed them in my brooder inside. After their long trip I wanted to make sure that they were all healthy and had something to eat and drink for a few hours before I introduced them to Miss Katie.

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5. Since I was not sure if she would accept a chick that she did not hatch I chose just one chick to give to Miss Katie. When the chicks arrived I noticed that there was one chick that was a bit smaller than the others and was really struggling to eat and drink. This is the one that I chose to give to Miss Katie. I knew that if Miss Katie would accept this chick that it would do much better under and natural mother hen than in the brooder with the others.

6. Late at night, well after 10 pm when it was really dark and Miss Katie was asleep I made my approach. I took the chick, wrapped it securely in my hands and opened the coop. Miss Katie heard the chick and started clucking as she had in the past with the other chicks that he had raised. When I heard this I knew it was safe to try to place the chick under her. I placed the chick next to her, she immediately tucked it under her wing and was thrilled to be a momma again. Once I was sure that she had accepted the chick I took an egg from under her. In the morning all she knew is that there was one less egg and I chick under her. It was a complete success!! I was so excited that Miss Katie accepted the chick and she was ecstatic to be a momma again. Since this little chick was having a bit of problems with life giving it to Miss Katie was the best thing I could do for it. Within 24 hours she had it eating and drinking just like the rest of the chicks were doing in the house. She was able to help the little chick in a way that I could not. Sometimes you just need a momma.

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7. Now that this was a complete success I was sure that Miss Katie was all in on being a momma, so the next night I took the rest of the eggs. After about three days or so the momma hen will abandon the eggs that did not hatch. In order to encourage her to put all her efforts into raising this little chick I had to take the rest of the eggs. So once again after it was nice and dark I snuck out to the coop and took the rest of the eggs. As far as she was concerned they were just gone and now she could concentrate on raising her little one.

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Miss Katie has helped this little one out so much. If it was not for her I am pretty sure that it would have died. It was a lot smaller than the rest of the chicks in the brooder and was not eating or drinking well like the rest of them. Since it was struggling with life the others just seemed to run it over in their scampering around the brooder. For this reason I chose to give this chick and only this chick to Miss Katie. If I had given her the entire clutch of chicks she would have noticed that this one was struggling and as nature usually does she would have killed it. But since she had just this one chick and nothing else to compare it too she gave it her full attention and brought it around in a way that I could not. She is definitely my ally in the chick brooding department. This was a win, win, win situation. The chick survived, I am able to say that all the chicks that I ordered survived, and Miss Katie was able to live out her life mission, to be a momma. She has definitely lived up to her reputation as the momma hen of the flock.

I am so glad that this adoption was a success. The experience that I gained from the situation is very valuable. Yet again, this is one more thing that my girls taught me. Chickens are amazing creatures, I am privileged to care for a small flock of these magnificent wonders of nature.

Thank you for take a little time and dropping by, we are so glad that you did. Till next time take care and keep on crowing.

~ The Kuntry Klucker & Bantom Boutique Crew ~

 

 

Country Chicks

 

As spring approaches, and the hatchery catalogs start to appear in the mail I get so excited, Why? Because spring means one thing, CHICKS!!!

I originally purchased my flock from a breeder. As we built the coop we were expectant parents in every sense of the word. It was almost like building a nursery and waiting for the baby to arrive. Instead of being pregnant with a tiny human I was awaiting a stork (mail) with my little peeps.

When they arrived, they were a total of 17 all huddled in a small box for warmth. They were the cutest things, and so helpless. I feel in love with them at first sight.

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I placed them in a brooder and thus the adventure began. They had the best care and were looked after day and night. We also had two volunteer brooder supervisors who happily watched over the chicks for us.  Indy and Tabby my cats did an excellent job of keeping watch. Don’t worry, the cats could not get to the chicks and only served at overseers of their care. There were so enamored by the brooder, bird watching at its best.

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So as any excited and proud mommy does I took baby pictures of my flock. I will share a few of them with you.

Who can resist a basket full of chicks, not me!

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Then you have the all american approach.

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However, I had the most fun with the few chicks that posed well. I had a few naturals when it came to posing for the camera. You have no idea how hard it is to take pictures of chicks that are scurrying in all directions. But I had a few hams that made the process easy and fun. Here are some of the pics that I took during that fun fluff filled photo session.

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“I think this is the place”.

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“Best buds”.

I had a good time taking pics of my girls. I am so glad that I did because they are only cute like this for a few days. After that they enter what I call the “ugly duckling phase”. This is when they start to loose their cute fluffy yellow down feathers and start to grow their mature feathers. The are actually kind of cute during that phase too, it is almost like they cannot decide if they want to be a chick or a chicken. All the stages of a chicken life are precious, just like the stages our human children go through as they mature.

The adventures of keeping chickens are both fun and exciting.

Till next time take care and keep on crowing. The girls and I will be back soon!!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

 

 

Deck the Coop.

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The girls and I had a little fun today as we decorated their digs today for the holidays. They were not too sure of the lights at first, but they thought that the bows tasted quite good.

You see, they get excited whenever I come out to the coop carrying something. They think that I am brining a yummy treat for them to devour. With my hands full, I could not manage a treat, so they decided that the decorations would be just as good. yea… not so much. They pecked at the bows and finally decided that they were not as good as they looked. Anyhow, after a few nasty looks from the gang they realized that I was up to something else fun. Thus the onlookers began to assemble.

This is the first year that I have decorated their coop with lights. I usually put a wreath on their door and a stocking for Santa to fill with treats on their coop. But last year when the wreath fell down and they decided that it was a good thing to lay eggs in. So, I did not try to argue with that kind of chicken logic. After all, now I know where I can expect to find all the eggs that they layed for the day. Most of the girls lay them in the coop, but I have one or two girls that like to think outside the box so to speak. They like to make me work for the eggs and send me on an egg hunt. The Christmas weather kind of solved that problem, but this year I decided to step it up and bring some exterior illumination to their digs.

Their reaction to the light strand when it lit up was quite entertaining. I had it stretched out on the ground while I worked the tangles that most lights are in when packaged in the box. I got the extension cord drug out to the coop and attached to the pen so they cannot peck at it. Anyway while I was away they inspected all the lights, but when I plugged them in they were startled by the sudden illumination coming from the dead thing on the ground. This is their first experience with Christmas lights so we will see how they take to them.

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Roy as always is not impressed when I mess with his digs. Even a good spring coop cleaning is something that he actively protests with a serenade of crowing. I am not too sure if its the leaf blower that I use to get all the dust out, the water that I spay in the coop to clean well, or the fact that I am rearranging the furniture. But anyhow he is not a fan of me messing with his pad. So of course he was not a big fan of decoration day. After all was said and done, he inspected and decided that the lights were not a threat and thus acceptable. His expression in the pic is just precious, he is a character like none other. The girls however are cool with the festive decor like any women would be.

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With the coop decorated and the girls officially ready for Santa, we hope that he finds that they have been good this year. Last year Santa brought them a bag of knock out scratch and a package of meal worms. We will see what Santa leave for them this year. Santa has a soft spot for chickens.

Well that is it for our adventures for now, I hope you enjoyed our story.

The Girls want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and an Egg-celent New Year!!

Thanks for following our adventures, see you next time. Till then, take care and keep on crowing.

The Kuntry Klucker Crew