Pullet or Roo? EE, Welsummer or Speckled Sussex?
Pullet or Roo? EE, Welsummer or Speckled Sussex?
Tomorrow the chicks will be a month old! We lost four that first weekend after arrival, but the remaining 21 are growing like crazy. They are fully feathered now, only a few still have any down left on their backs. They have about 2 inches of tail feathers and most of them have combs showing. I’m still a little nervous that I might have a few Roos, time will tell.
I’ll be taking their 1 month photos tomorrow to post. Quite a change!
I live in a rambling Folk Victorian farmhouse that has long since seen the glory days. It is old, worn-out and tired after more than a century of raising families.
This farmhouse, and the two barns that were part of the property, were built on the outskirts of my little town well over 100 years ago. Now, my house is no longer a farm and the barns are long gone. “Town” kept coming in the late 1800’s and my house is now one of many lining both sides of Main Street.
I love this house dearly, but some days it is overwhelming to stand outside and look closely. You can actually hear the to-do list growing. The porches are sagging and the roof needed replaced longer ago than I have been alive. The days of insulation have not arrived here yet and standing by the windows when the winter wind blows will chill you to the core.
It is overwhelming, but I cannot turn my back on it. When you drive past, you may only see that this house is run-down, only see what needs fixed. You wouldn’t see that I moved back into this house as a young wife, alone with my first baby, while my husband was deployed again. You wouldn’t see the scuffs in the floor where I paced at night, to calm the baby, while I waited and prayed for his weekly phone call.
There is no way you could see the memories I have of the years I lived in this house as a child. The memories of staying here with my older brother, those memories fading at the edges now that he is gone. We fought like warriors, racing around this house and taking full strategic advantage of the loop created by the stairs at the front and back of the house. More than once, I was ambushed coming around the corner at the back stairs and forced to admit defeat. I hope we have the renovations finished in time for my own children to stomp up the front stairs and hurtle down the back stairs in their own epic battles. If we are still living here, I will cheat this time and show my girls that sweet spot to take their brother out as he comes around that corner.
You won’t be able to hear the hours I spent with the front door wide open, swinging on the porch swing, lost in whatever book I was reading, listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival pouring out of the house. I am 12 years old again, melancholy, every time I hear the music in my mind. I have seen the rain, I’ve lived in the rain for the last 2 years.
You wouldn’t realize on your drive by that my father bought this house to bring it back into the family. That it was built by his mother’s grandfather. That her father and uncle carved their initials into the foundation stones and steps. That her family owned this home through the turn of the century, the Great Depression and the Wars. That I owe it something more than letting it be forgotten.
But at what cost? My husband and I dream of the day we will have our own farmstead. We are slowly working towards that day. My heart hurts to think I will have to turn my back on one dream to achieve another. We will put this old house back together over the rest of our lives, but we will not be staying here for my children to grow and come back here with their own children. We will rent it out someday and pray that we can choose carefully who will live here and respect the history. But history is not meant to be a handcuff and I can’t live in two places at the same time.
Yay! My brooder bottle caps from The Chicken Fountain are here. Took less than ten minutes to open the package, assemble and hang the bottles and teach the chicks to drink! No more poopy water dishes! I was already impressed after chatting with the owner on the phone. Now I’m absolutely a devoted brooder bottle capper, and I’ll be ordering the Mega fountain for the big coop later this spring. I’ll post pictures tonight.
The chicks are two weeks old tomorrow and they are growing so fast. I already have my favorites! It’s getting much easier to match the breeds, now that the EE’s are getting green legs and cheek muffs.
Most things about having chickens are just plain awesome. Poopy, bedding filled water jugs are not awesome. Even the chicks can fill their little red screw on waterers with bedding and poop in about 10 minutes flat. So, I just ordered 4 brooder bottle caps from The Chicken Fountain. I have been reading about them on The Chicken Chick blog and couldn’t wait to try them, especially with the free shipping right now.
I would like to eventually order the Mega Fountain for the coop.
You can see more about the fountains and brooder bottle caps at The Chicken Fountain website or look them up on Facebook. I have seen the red nipple pieces sell for more in a catalog than the whole Brooder Bottle Cap sells for and I was really excited to learn that The Chicken Fountain business is located in North Carolina, where a Dad and his sons assemble and create the fountains and bottle caps at their own farm! It’s always good to be able to support a business that is actually in the USA and backed by a real family working together. I will be posting more about them as soon as the caps arrive and we can get them in the brooder.
I love watching the baby girls preen and groom their feathers. They are more intent than a teenage girl in front of the mirror.
The chicks are getting big enough to start playing and flapping around to land on each other. It makes me laugh when a chick finally gets comfy to fall asleep and a couple other chicks put their little heads together, like they are plotting, then pounce on the one that is sleeping. They run away so fast you can almost hear them saying,” Neener Neener Neener…”
I’m happy to see they are getting used to me. They still go into their high alert huddle when I open the brooder lid to clean their dishes and fill them up. But, they are getting used to me talking through the top and they don’t startle when I stick around for a bit to chat with them.
I have been trying to figure out which chicks are which breed. We ordered 10 EE, 5 Welsummer, 5 Silver Laced Wyandotte, and 5 Speckled Sussex. The chicks that arrived have three distinct patterns; brown chipmunk, black chipmunk, and almost all black. We lost two brown chipmunk and two almost all black. The remaining chicks are 4 black chipmunk, 1 almost all black (but with the same head markings as the black chipmunk) and the rest are various shades of brown chipmunk. The 4 black chipmunk are the SL Wyandottes, but not sure if the little black one is a SS or SLW. Thankfully, some of the brown chipmunks are developing green legs which will make it easier to pick out the Easter Eggers.
Any tips on how to figure out which chicks are which? The hatchery photos for SS, Welsummer, and EE all show chicks that look like brown chipmunk. Not helping me figure them out!