Raising My First 3 Chicks: From Brooder to Coop to Eggs!

August 3, 2010
My chicks have arrived! I was so excited when the post office called. Honestly, I was hungover and the phone call was the cure! I had the brooder all set up for them, awaiting their arrival. The box was peeping the whole way home and I couldn't contain myself as I cut the strings off of the box. I took them out of the box and put their little beaks into their waterer. All three girls instantly began drinking down water. Poor things had been on such an amazing journey the past 24 hours! They all huddled in the corner of the cage, snuggled together, swaying on their wobbly feet and sleeping in the warm light. They would sporadically wake up and peep, and then fall asleep again.

The chicks grew so fast. Every time I went to check on them in the morning they were different than when I had left them the night before.
Chickies at 10 days...not named yet.

Baby Speckled Sussex. Baby Easter Egger.

Baby Barred Rock.

September 2010
Here the girls are in their very awkward stage. They kind of look like little hawks! Lola (right), Penny (front), and Amelia (Easter Egger) loved going ouside in the safety of the dog kennel in the warm September sun. They are definitely in their teenage stage. They do not want me to handle them, particularly Amelia, who sqwaks very loudly in detest.
Better get the coop ready...

The girls and I are very lucky to have a coop builder boyfriend/dad in our house!
They are big enough (and the coop is secure) for the girls to explore their new digs. About 7 weeks old.

Young Lola eating roots. Amelia posing for the camera. All three girls.

They grow so fast! Here they are at 9.5 weeks old.

Lola-- barred rock Penny-- speckled sussex

Amelia-- EE looking at the camera.

Penny-- 4 months

Being silly.

Amelia-- 4 months
Shaking her head.

Lola-- 4 months All 3, 4 months old

December 23. 2010
Now the girls are almost 19 weeks, I'm getting impatient for eggs! I have now learned that my breeds, SS, BR, and EE, tend to be later layers. EEs seem to wait a particularly long time to lay. But I know the beautiful egg will be worth worth the wait. My prediction is that Lola (BR) will be the first to lay an egg. She has the most developed comb and waddle and she's red. I hope she lays soon!
Below are photos from today. The run and coop is completely covered in hay in an attempt to keep chicken feet dry and keep out puddles. We have had rain the last 3 days and the yard is wet! We are supposed to have some more rain this weekend.




January 8, 2011
Amelia has been extra squawky recently and her and Penny are definitely squatting. I impatiently check the nesting box for egg every day, just hoping! This afternoon I found out that my hunch was WRONG! The first egg is laid by Ms. Penny at just under 21 weeks, not by Lola (whom I expected would be first). I went out to feed the girls some apple slices, and I look over in the hay, and Penny laid a beautiful brown speckled egg.

January 15, 2011
On week later, much to my surprise. Amelia's first egg was laid at just under 22 weeks. She lays a beautiful blue/green tinted egg. She was so loud this morning that the neighbor came over to see if she had laid an egg...At about 3 pm a perfect egg was found.

January 20, 2011
And 5 days later, my final chicken begins to lay. Lola laid a small brown egg in the nesting box. I could tell it was hers because it was lacking the freckles that are on Penny's. Amelia has been providing me with an egg a day, with Penny being about every other.
March 20, 2011
I love my chickens! Egg production is going great....no one can get enough eggs! I'm hoping to add three more hens to my flock this year.....we'll see......We're getting 2-3 eggs everyday.


The girls have more freedom now, they get to free-range in the backyard (with some supervision). The other day I accidentally left them out there for a while and then ran out to find that they had found a way onto the deck and were eating the tops of my beets! At least they were easily re-directed to the worms in the compost pile, however, the new beginning grape leaves were descimated :(

Happy girls in the backyard

Mud pile where mom cleans out our waterer.... Amelia looking for beet greens....

Feeding berries to Penny