My Easter Chicks are Seven Weeks Old ….

day old chick - click to see the full list of posts on chickens!

day old chick – click to see the full list of posts on chickens!

There have been a few changes since I last took some photos of these chicks.  They’ve grown!

The Marans and Buff Sussex are mostly full feathered now, altho’ the Barnevelders are still looking a bit scraggy.  They are no longer confined to the cage, and as it was a nice day today, I let them roam around the  nearest part of the garden.  They had great fun scratching in the old pond – no water there any more – and eating the scraps I threw in for them, and took some rest time in the sun.

These are some of the pictures I took today … on them to see them as a slide show in a large format …..



U is for Update on my chicks

USo, I got it slightly wrong last time I posted about the chicks, they were not quite four weeks old, and they are just over four weeks old now – Oh, I really should just slide my finger down a calendar!  But, because its the U day in this challenge, its the best fit for another post to show you how they have grown – smile.

It was a big day yesterday – I finally moved them into the pen it took me ages to prepare for them – Outside – in the garden!


This had involved, a major pruning of my bay tree – see Hiatus – working out if I had enuf space to put the new £12.99 mini plastic greenhouse and the cage in the space by the fence – I did!  It then took me three goes to fit all the pieces of this little wonder together – sorry I’ve actually cropped it out of all these pictures – then dragging the large cage out of storage – cleaning it – finding a way to prop it up – a few bricks, slates & whatever else was available – stabilising it with some heavy plant pots that a friend had carried outside for me – the house plants needed some sun – and finally yesterday, getting someone to cut up some old boards for me to fit into a top shelf, so the chicks wouldn’t get lost in the back of the ‘cage’ – oh you really don’t need to know the details!


So – when I realised I hadn’t got a way to add the “extension” – well a sort of extra bit of ‘cage’ that I have fixed onto the front opening so that they have room to jump about – I thought about it for a bit – the thing is, that I’d have to move some ‘kerb stones’ so that there would be no gaps and no escape holes – and it would take yet more time to sort it out – and its supposed to rain today – I decided to let them see the outside world in the sun for the first time, in a cage that was a bit too small for all 10 of them.  And of course, I had actually planned to write this blog and needed some pictures for it!

the inspection!

the inspection!

The chicks were only there for a few hours – they were rather scared of being taken out of their larger comfortable home in the cellar, and it took me a while to catch the last few!  Then I didn’t have room for a feed tray, just the water container – but it didn’t matter – they had been wondering what was outside – I purposely kept the cellar door open so they could get a taste of it – and now they were overjoyed to see something new – and a bit fearful of the dog barking next door, but they did have space to move around and inspect their new quarters, and watch the insects and the birds – whilst of course my other hens, had another good look at them!

That’s “darker” the first of the pair of Maran’s I bought about 6 weeks as POL (point of lay), who has only just started laying some nice brown eggs. (The sign that hens are ready to lay is that their combs turn from pink to a brighter red.)  Her sister ‘lighter’ (names apply to the amount of black feathers they have on their necks – smile) has yet to come into lay.  And ‘fiver’ who will feature in tomorrow’s post, the silkie cross on the right.

The chicks are at the scraggy looking stage – well feathered – their legs growing, able to jump and even fly, but in that awkward ‘pre-teen stage’ – you must recognise it if you have any kids around you – well – if they can get into mischief, they will – I will have to fix the extension cage up for them the next time I put them outside!

So here are a few more pics – its nice to have a record of them on the blog, so I’ll be able to refer back to it when they are fully grown …… if you click on the pictures, it will turn into a slide show ….hover over them and you see the titles ….


O is for there are Other chickens!

OI moved the chicks yesterday, as they had outgrown their cardboard box, and were agile enough to keep jumping out of it.

They are now about 4 weeks old and don’t need the brooder any more, so I put them in   the pen in the cellar – which opens into the garden.

You can see them at one day old HERE, and at 10 days old HERE.

As you can see, they discovered that there were OTHER CHICKENS around, and my chickens had a good look at them!


E is for my Easter chicks

EOK – I’m cheating a bit, cos the chicks were hatched between the 26th – 28th of March – see my earlier post – Easter is coming and – my chicks have just hatched!

I thought you might like to know how they are doing, and what they look like now, 10 days later, on Easter Monday.  Rather than make you go back and forth between the posts – these are them at between 1 and 3 days old:-

They are out of the incubator and into a very large cardboard box, courtesy of one of my suppliers – I think it had a large yarn order in it, and I kept it knowing it would come in useful!

the brooding pen

the brooding pen

This is the set up – I had intended to use an old brooder I have used for years which is a metal box with an electric element inside which keeps the chicks warm – but it blew the fuses all over the house when I turned it on!  I’m sure it was a loose wire and just needed a simple re-connection, but it would have meant dismantling the whole box to get to it, so once again, I found myself deciding not to bother to try and fix it, and ordered a new one thro ebay……which meant I had to keep the incubator going inside the box – propped open so the chicks could go in and out.

They “jumped with joy” when they found they had room to run around in, and have been speeding around it so fast, that it’s almost impossible to get a properly focussed picture of them!

So the incubator has stayed in the box, and the odd thing on stilts is the new brooder – which they can return to any time to benefit from the warmth of the top platform.  The brooder was only just put in the box in this picture and they were a bit scared of it, so they bunched up in their ‘safe corner’.

The box has been lined with thick wads of old newspaper, which I can peel off to keep it clean – tho’ its not very pretty – and the white blob in the foreground is a drinker, which is an upside down ‘bulb’ shape, that allows the water to be dispensed into a low channel at the bottom, so its kept clean. The dish is full of chick crumbs – a commercial produced feed for chicks that has all they need for growth – but I also feed them with scrambled eggs on wetted brown bread – after all, they hatched from eggs, which are what they fed on whilst growing inside the shell, and its the best food they can get!

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So at approx 10 days old, they have grown, and their wing feathers are beginning to develop.  They are very active, and in fact I am going to have to shore up the sides of the box, because I just found one had jumped out and was cheeping loudly for me to come and put it back in with its ‘family’.

Linked to Clare & Deans photo of the week event:

chose any of these photos for the photo of the week!


This week’s achievement was to manage to post a daily post for the A-Z challenge and to visit some of the other sites – as well, of course, looking after these little ones – smile!

easter is coming and – my chicks have just hatched!

two buff sussex chicks

two buff sussex chicks

I put eggs from three different suppliers from all over the country – courtesy of ebay! – in my old incubator on 5 March, and lo and behold, on 26 March the first one hatched.

She was a Buff Sussex, and for some reason it took nearly another day for the other Buff Sussex’s to hatch, and some of the Barnevelders and Marans, and by last night, 27 March, all that were going to hatch, had hatched!

barnvelder out of the incubator, and behind him is the maran (grey) and a buff sussex chick

barnvelder out of the incubator, and behind him is the maran (grey) and a buff sussex chick

So out of 18 eggs, I got about 11 chicks – still not sure because the move around so much I’m not sure which ones I’ve counted!

But its a good ratio, because sometimes, almost nothing hatches, because the eggs were infertile in the first place.

I am hoping to start a flock with these three breeds, which are the ones I like best, although there are plenty other rare breeds that are just as nice.

A crop from one of the group pictures

A crop from one of the group pictures

I had intended to photograph  the eggs as they were hatching, but I seem to have killed my old camera, by pressing the card down on the pins, in the wrong position.  Its annoying, because the rest of the camera works fine, but I doubt that it would be worth sending it off for repair, because someone would charge an arm and a leg to dismantle the camera and put some new pins in!

I didn’t even bother finding out – altho if anyone reading this

the group photo

the group photo

knows of someone who could do the job – in the UK, I’d be glad to have their email address.

So, having sold some nice yarns to Romania and the USA in the last week, I decided to put the money to good use, and bought a  basic digital camera.  I felt bereft without one, I saw some wonderful pictures during the eclipse and I didn’t have anything to take them with!

But I think they will stay in my head, because the light was so special.

what's outside this warm place?

what’s outside this warm place?

I haven’t yet got my head round this new-fangled digital thing – see the stuff I wrote on the Julz Cards page – but I did manage to take a few pics of the chicks – they are between 1 and 3 days old – I will be moving them out of the incubator tomorrow, as you can see they were curious enough to come out already!

Hope you enjoy these, may take some more later, when I’ve got the hang of this new camera!


Linked to Clare & Deans photo of the week event: