Tag Archive: baby chicks

New Community Chickens Post: How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding – Part One

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding – Part One (click to continue)

Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-how-to-prepare-for-successful-chick-brooding-part-one/

Who’s Watching Who?

Since our day old baby chicks arrived three weeks ago, I’ve kept our Wingscapes BirdCam busy capturing photos and videos of them in their brooding pen.  Today as I was looking through the hundreds of images captured earlier this week, I was taken with two photos of one of our Mottled Cochin Bantam chicks.

In them, she has the stage to herself and seems to be taking full advantage of the moment to pose for the camera.  Then she turns and looks at the BirdCam rather inquisitively.  It was as if she was investigating the camera as much as it was investigating her. So, judge for yourself. Who’s watching who?

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/whos-watching-who/

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – May 2, 2012

1840 Farm has twelve new residents of the feathered variety.  They arrived yesterday and I am happy to report that they are all active and well.  They spent the better part of today exploring and trying to master two very important skills:  eating and getting along with your roommates!

They are adorable and we are all enjoying watching them.  There will be daily pictures and videos to share on our Facebook page, but I wanted to give you all a glimpse of them on their first full. day living at 1840 Farm.  Here they are after we gave them all a health check this afternoon.  Moments later, they were back in their brooding pen warming up and exploring their surroundings.

Stay tuned – there will be an unending supply of chick pictures to share!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/nearly-wordless-wednesday-may-2-2012/

Nesting Instinct

The Easter table at 1840 Farm will have a touch of whimsy this year:  at least for a few moments.  I know that my son’s white chocolate nest place card with candy coated eggs won’t stand a chance.  The eggs will be history in a matter of seconds.  Then the nest will fall prey to a six-year-old who loves both white chocolate and coconut.

I can almost picture his plate with only the small flag remaining where the nest used to be.  I won’t mind a bit.  I’ll be happy to have made something that brings beauty and deliciousness to our table in the same bite.

I shared the instructions for making these chocolate nests on CommunityChickens.com  for the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine.  For a family that holds its flock of heritage breed hens in high regard, they seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring to our farm.  To learn how you can make these adorable and delicious place cards for your Easter table, read “Welcome to the Easter table at 1840 Farm.”

In a matter of weeks, the newest batch of day old baby chicks will make 1840 Farm their home.  For the first time ever, we’ll be adding a few fancy bantam hens to the mix.  After they arrive, there will be an unending supply of adorable baby chick photos and videos to share along with product giveaways and money-saving offers.  To make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the fun, follow 1840 Farm on Facebook to get the daily news from the coop.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/nesting-instinct/

New Community Chickens Post: Welcome to a Year in the Life at 1840 Farm

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

Welcome to a Year in the Life at 1840 Farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/03/new-community-chickens-post-welcome-to-a-year-in-the-life-at-1840-farm/

And Then There Were Seven

I  have a wide variety of duties here at 1840 Farm.  I am a wife, mother, cook, housekeeper, gardener, handyman, appliance repairman, etc.  Luckily, I’ve never had to be an undertaker.  Well, until a few days ago.

We just added eight baby chicksto our farm.  It was a big step, but as soon as they arrived, we jumped right into chicken farming.  My kids took their new responsibilities very seriously.  My daughter has been spotted more than once cleaning out the brooding box and changing their water without the painful prompting that only a mother can apply.

My son helps in his own preschool way.  That is to say that he fills up their feeder and almost manages to get some food into the feeder instead of onto the bottom floor of the brooding box.  Now if I could just get them to feed the dog.  Oh well, I mustn’t be greedy.

The first day with the chicks was all fun and games.  We checked on them every few hours and laughed at how funny they were.  It was like watching bobbleheads move around the brooder.  They were unsteady on their feet and didn’t know quite what to make of life.  They were adorable.  It was great entertainment.

Then we noticed that one of the chicks seemed a little off.  While they were all sleepy from their long journey to the farm, this one seemed not only sleepy, but lethargic.  She didn’t travel with the rest of the flock.  She stayed under the heat lamp while they explored their new surroundings.  When I picked her up, sometimes she didn’t have the strength to open her eyes.

So, I did what any modern-day farmer would do.  I went straight to the Internet.  I searched.  I read.  I only came up with one option:  feed the chick sugar-water with a syringe.  I have to be honest and say that I never imagined myself standing in the garage after midnight doling out the elixir of life by hand to a sickly animal.  I just didn’t.  Not that I’m not an animal lover.  Not that I don’t love a challenge.  I just never pictured myself as an avian Nurse Ratched.

But it was all for naught.  The next morning, the little chick was no longer with us.  The rest of the flock was going about their business.  They were eating and drinking and keeping each other in line.  Now it was time for me to bury the chick.  Here I go, still in my pajamas, out to the field with a shovel and the baby chick wrapped in newspaper.

It was grey and rainy out.  Good weather for undertaking, I suppose.  So, I did what I needed to do and then headed inside.  Fast forward a few rainy morning hours and it was time to tell my children before they saw it with their own eyes at the pre-breakfast chick check.  They took it surprisingly well, but with understandable questions.

The most popular question was “why?”  I didn’t have a good answer because sometimes there just isn’t one.  I reminded them that we had prepared for this before the chicks arrived.  We talked about how delicate they were and that they might not all make it.  It’s one thing to say it might happen.  It’s another to explain that it actually has.

But we were farmers now.  It was time to take a deep breath, grab our boots and head out to check on our remaining charges.  We did and my children were happy to see that the remaining seven chicks were all very active.  They were going on with their day.  Somehow they knew that they had to.  In nature, there is no time for mourning because it isn’t productive for an animal to stop their daily quest for survival to dwell on the past.  They were living in the moment and marching forward.  If the seven of them wanted to survive, they had to.  It wasn’t a choice.  It was necessity.

I hadn’t intended to teach my children a life lesson when we ordered eight baby chicks for the farm.  I should have known better.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/09/and-then-there-were-seven/

A Chick, Chick Here

It was a typical Tuesday morning at 1840 Farm.  I was 90 minutes into a tomato soup canning session when the phone rang.  When I picked it up, I could immediately hear the “cheep, cheep, cheep” in the background as a not very impressed postal employee informed me that I needed to come pick up my chicks.  I could tell from the tone of his voice that he wanted me there yesterday.

So, hot water bath canner bubbling on the stove, I calmly told him, “I’ll be there in thirty minutes!”  I raced to the garage to set up their new home.  I wasn’t expecting for them to arrive until later this week, but luckily we had already gathered the necessary supplies.  I ran back into the house, turned the heat off under the canning pot, set the timer for five minutes and watched the time tick down.  There was nothing that I could do but wait and hope that they would still be “peeping” when I got there.

They were.  As soon as I entered the post office, I could hear them from the back room.  I waited my turn and told them that I was there for the baby chicks.  They never asked my name.  They didn’t ask to see any form of identification.  They quickly handed over the baby chicks.  They were happy to see my pick up my package and head for the door.  I can tell you that I got a lot of interesting glances as I was walking out to my car.  People tend to stare when you are carrying a package the size of a child’s shoe box that is peeping.

We ordered our heritage breed chicks from My Pet Chicken.  They were great about offering resources for first time chicken keepers.  They kept recommending not to open the box in front of children as a few of them might not have made the journey and lived to peep about it.  So, I knew what I needed to do.  I carefully cut the strapping tape away from three of the sides.  I gently lifted the lid and tried to count the little fluff balls inside.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!  They had all made it.  Now to get them home and settled in.  My daughter couldn’t wait to get them out of the box and into their little warm brooder.  We opened the box and two hopped right out into the pine shavings.  The rest of them quickly decided that living in their little shipping box forever seemed like a good idea.  Finally, with a little encouragement, they gently set foot into their new space.

We watched them with bated breath.  Would they drink?  Would they eat?  Were they warm enough?  Too warm?  Who knew that chicken keeping was this difficult?  I carefully picked each chick up and dipped its beak into the waterer.  Some happily drank water while others immediately pulled their beaks out of the water as if they were being waterboarded.  Those chicks ran away from the water to the safety of the opposite corner of the brooder.  They were definitely keeping an eye on me.  I was not to be trusted.

That was, until I brought more food.  Then I was back in their good graces as they all investigated their surroundings, had a snack, and settled in under the heat lamp for a well deserved nap.  They were exhausted from their journey.  I was certainly exhausted from mine.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/09/a-chick-chick-here/