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Archives for : March2015

{Photo of the Day} 31.03.2015

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This is Frost.

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This is Mercury.

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{Photo of the Day} 30.03.2015

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Mercury & Frost are a week old! And they have tiny tail feathers! I can’t believe how fast they’re developing. They’re still really tiny, but look at the feathers already! I’ll have to try to get pictures of their wings stretched out because they definitely have the Sebright wings going on. On the down side, it doesn’t seem much of the hens’ physical traits passed down to them so far. Obviously, I’m not going to know what they look like until they’re don’t growing out their feathers but so far the yellow is turning white & their heads aren’t developing crests. At the rate they’re changing, I’m sure I wont have to wait too much longer to find out.

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{Photo of the Day} 29.03.2015

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Both Mercury & Frost are starting to develop silver stripes down their backs. Also, they are 7 days old today!

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{Photo of the Day} 28.03.2015

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The Ithakē Flock is getting bolder outside of their pen. Odysseus had his hens about halfway to the barn from their pen this morning. They all hustled back into the pen when they realised I had their mealworm snack. Calypso & Penelope have been laying eggs almost daily. I’m not sure if Athena & Nausicaä are & the flock is eating the eggs (this has happened to an egg or two) or if they just don’t feel like laying right now. I have read that Polish hens aren’t the most reliable egg layers & that’s okay with me. I guess I’m more of the decorative flock type of person over the these are livestock that need to produce type of person. Well, using FarmersOnly.com is probably out of the question now. If my blue & green hair hadn’t DQ’d me already. I’m being 100% sarcastic on this.

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The amazing this about spring in Colorado is that we can have snow earlier in the week & then be in the 80’s for the temperature 3 days later.

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Mercury & Frost continue to grow. They’re getting tail feathers & their wings look like they’re going to take after Odysseus in colour. The rest of their feathers haven’t started to grow out just yet, so I can’t tell if they’ll be completely silver laced (white with the black outline) like their wings seem to be developing. They spent a lot of the morning running from one end of the brooder box to the other, jumping & flapping their wings every so often. I’m going to have to build them a little tractor this coming week so I can let them start to get used to the outdoors because they’ve also been getting super into scratching. I took the paper towels out so they’re just on the wood chips. They’ve been scratching down through the wood chips to the bottom of the brooder box & then kind of slip-sliding on the plastic before scratching at a different section of wood chips & repeating. They are extremely active.

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All that activity has drawn the attention of Arya, Toki & Zelda. Toki lays down near the box & just watches them running around doing their little chick thing. Unfortunately, Arya has started rushing at the box when they make sudden movements. Not all the time, but enough times to get the Angry Mom voice out of me. No one’s tried to get into the box yet, but I will need to cover the lid with some poultry netting to prevent the chicks from sneaking out of the air holes in the next few weeks. That would be a bad combo with the increased interest of the dogs.

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{Photo of the Day} 27.03.2015

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Mercury & Frost are growing like weeds. In retrospect, I should have expected this after my experience with the robins but it’s still pretty amazing how fast they are developing.

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They even started scratching today! This is an important activity to teach your chicks, as it’s pretty much what chickens do – scratch around for food & grit all day. If they had been hatched by a broody hen, she would have taught them everything they would need to know to survive. Since they were hatched by me, that duty falls on me to impart upon them. As soon as they were moved into the brooder, the first thing I did was dip their beaks into the water deep enough to get it wet so that they knew to get hydrated there. After that, I would make a little pecking motion in their feeder so that they knew to get food there. They picked up on the feed faster than the water & that had me a little worried at first. If I was still physically able to do so, I would have done cartwheels the first time I saw them drink on their own. After that, I started putting mash (that’s what their feed is called) onto the paper towels & make the same pecking motion there. Again, cartwheels. I want them to get little achievements icons like in video games when this happens. Next, I’m going to have to get something in the brooder that they can use as a roost so they can start learning that.

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As spring sways in, it brings with it quick, warm snow storms & fast, furious rainstorms.

{Photo of the Day} 26.03.2015

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It was a bad day today. I’m still pretty upset about Neutron when I stop & think about him.

{Animal Mad Scientistry} Reset the Clock

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7 of the 10 shipped Phoenix bantam eggs have been set (25.03.2015).

The plans I had in place for the hatching process and possible no hatch/deaths helped me get through today a little easier. Not easy, just easier than if I had no plan. I’m still really sad about Neutron and just thinking about the little dude makes my throat get all tight.

But, it’s like Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” I couldn’t let my sadness stop the process I had already started by having hatching eggs sent to me. They weren’t going to stop losing their hatch viability just because I wasn’t ready to potentially go through this again in another 3 weeks.

EDITED TO ADD: Surprisingly, my family did not give me any grief about being upset Neutron died, which I am very grateful for. Honestly, had someone given me shit about it, I probably would have had the biggest episode of Toddler Rage Mode I’ve had to date. Also, it seems that Mercury and Frost are going to be pullets and Neutron would have been a cockerel (if sexing by wing type is accurate).

{Photo of the Day} 25.03.2015

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{Photo of the Day} 24.03.2025

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{Photo of the Day} 23.03.2025

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