Mollie Sunshine Chronicles



Jul 13, 2016
Rhode Island
Hello BYC'ers. I wanted a place to talk about my chickies with others who are like minded. I am new to raising chickens and am learning quite a bit from reading posts throughout this forum. I would like you to meet Molly Sunshine. She is my Buff Orpington and the only one of my chickies with a name. In comparison to my other buff's, she's quite small. I do believe she's a she. She's 14 weeks old and a real sweet bird.

I want to share a story with all of you. Yesterday was the second time chickies free ranged. The first time, I lured them in the coop before it began to get dark. Yesterday, I let them enter the coop at dusk on their own. I witnessed quite an amazing act. Prior to entering the run there was quite a bit of posturing. No actual chest pumping but feathers and chests flared. I'm not certain what this was all about and perhaps one of the more seasoned owners can explain this to me. One by one they entered the coop until all were in. Now here's the amazing part....I assume it was #1 RIR rooster and RIR hen followed by a male bantam, exited the run. The RIR rooster and hen stared down the bantam and he walked back into the coop. Then the RIR rooster and hen proceeded to walk the length of the run checking to see if all were in. The hen went in and the rooster once again checked the area before he went inside the coop. This to me was amazing! I went in and told my husband what just occurred. I had no clue they did this!!! Today I let them free range again and once again the ritual began. The same 3 birds exited the run after all had entered the coop. The male bantam came out for a short period of time but it was the RIR rooster and hen who performed the perimeter check. The hen went in, the rooster double checked the area, then went inside the coop. So i guess this really is the ritual that they will do and it wasn't a fluke last night.
Here are a couple of other pictures. Molly sunshine and a male bantam and a RIR basking in the the summertime (that tune came to mind).

As is the case with most of the country, it was another very warm day here in the northeast yesterday. Chickies were very happy to be free ranging. I too was able to enjoy the weather, while keeping a watchful eye on my flock. As late afternoon came, I noticed in the sky a hawk fly over to where chickies were foraging. I jumped off my lawn chair, grabbed a big stick and stood watch. They enjoy a spot in the woods with a small clearing. I don’t know if the hawk just didn’t see them under the tall trees or maybe it wasn’t searching for food at that time. Regardless, it made my heart skip a beat.
Hi MollySunshine, glad to see your posts!
I also enjoy watching my birds and seeing how they interact with each other.
Love those dusk chicken rituals too.
My cockerel is not good at rounding the girls up yet and he's usually the first one in to roost.
He's young yet, he will get with the program.
Yes, your little 14 week BO is a pullet. Very pretty girl!
Hawks are a real danger so I am glad that you are outside with your flock when they free range.
Thanks for sharing with us!
CluckerCottage: thanks for verifying that she really is a she!
I really thought she was but was beginning to wonder since she is so different than the others. Heck, maybe the others are roosters in reality! I think there is only one rooster out of the 6 Buff Orpington's I have. I suppose time will tell.

When hubby bought our flock of chicks he had no idea as I did not, that there existing a breed meant primarily for meat. He brought home 6 cornish rock chicks. Three died shortly after moving all chicks to the coop. Last night another cornish died. I am grateful. I can't bring myself to slaughter them. I have 2 left. They seem to be doing well enough. I know it is matter of time. In the meantime I keep them as content as possible.

I was supposed to receive chicks last week but was notified they did not hatch out. I assume maybe not as many females were hatched as they anticipated. My new date is Aug. 8. I can't wait! Although, I'm not looking forward to the integration process. I intend on really studying the activity on the integration posts, in case I forgot any crucial points. So far what I gathered is the quicker you get the chicks out into the coop (protected of course) the better. And I recently read 95 isn't the magical temperature! Textbook is great but that's why I prefer real life practices.
The past few days 5:00 a.m. is still fairly dark. Don't tell me summer is coming to a close!!!! I open the coop and wake the chickies. The majority of them still huddle to sleep and they dozzily walk about slightly while making their sleepy time noises. The few that have decided to roost don't move from their perch, as if to say hey, who turned on the lights...can't you see the no disturb sign. I have to remember to go back outdoors before I leave for the day, to let them in the run for the day. I figure if the predator lights are still blinking and it's still sort of dark, then the predators could still be lurking about. Don't want to get careless and risk opening the coop until it's day light. They crack me up, when I do open their door they are in single file waiting in anticipation. These critters crack me up!
This morning I went out at 5 a.m. to feed the chickies before getting ready for work. Once again, they were still in slumber mode. They slowly began to wake to the sound of the other roosters in the neighborhood crowing to them letting them know it was time for their usual "coffee clutch", they quickly joined in. The head rooster stood straight up, peeked out the window and gave a big cock a doodle doo back at them. Before I knew it, a few more of my own joined in. My neighbor must have added another rooster to their flock because I could hear what sounded to me to be a young roo. We all know that stutter crow they do when they first discover their voice. Yup, mine still do it at times, makes me smile. This scenario every morning is the epitome of peace. I love going out to my coop every morning and peeking in the window to greet my chickies. I say, "good morning chickies" and there they are peering back at me sleepily clucking back or making that little sound they make. It's a beautiful thing.

Tonight I need to add more DE to the run. It down poured a few times last week so I added more hay and pine shavings to wick it up. It was still wetter than I wanted it to be so I added some DE to help dry it out a bit. I noticed this morning it appeared to be still wet. I will give it the touch test tonight and add some DE if needed. I assume this is what I want to do. If any of you more knowledgeable owners are lurking and have a better suggestion, please don't hesitate to give your advice. I'm fairly green at this and if anyone has suggestions that would save me some heartache I am more than willing to listen.
I was waiting in anticipation for my chicks to arrive and last Tuesday the chickie stork brought them to my local post office
I had to change my order becasue once again the silkies have not hatched out. I was disappointed but put my mind to thinking these may not be exactly what I wanted but it doesn't mean I will not enjoy them. Plus, it forced me to look at other bantam types. One day I will own a black silkie gosh darn it....just not today. So what did I receive you ask, I received 2 Sultans, 1 Mille Fleur l'Uccle, Mottled Cochin Bantam (I think there are 2), one I'm not sure it may have been a Buff Brahma Bantam, and a silver and gold Wyandotte. One Sultan was DOA, the one I am not sure about died at the vet a couple of days later and the other Sultan surprisingly died Friday night. This one came as a complete surprise. Beforehand, she was a spite fire. Friday evening I checked on them and she appeared listless. I thought perhaps she was just tired. Saturday I woke and she had passed during the night. So I am left with 5 littles. They appear to be thriving. I am using the heating pad method for this group. I LOVE it!! If anyone is on the fence about using it rather than the heat lamp it's the best thing anyone came up with. I wouldn't go back to the heat lamp. I followed the directions that were given on this site by Blooie (thanks Beekissed to directing me to the link) as to how to wrap the heating pad with a towel then wrap it all using press n seal. What I have found that also makes my life easier is I cut 2 pieces that drape over the sides for easy removal each morning becasue we all know how much chickies can poop. Otherwise, I was unwrapping the entire thing everyday. I ain't got time for that! For my brooder I am using an animal trough from Tractor Supply. I rolled up one small hand towel, wrapped a rubber band around it, then wrapped 2 individual hand towels put one on top of the other, tied them together with a rubber band then placed the single on one side of the trough the double on the other side, covered the bottom of the trough with newspaper and pine shavings then placed the cooling rack which I also wrapped in press n seal on top of the towels and placed the heat pad over the rack. I let one side over hang so the littles can cozy under if they want the heat directly on their backs. It worked out great! With this warm weather the littles haven't been using the extra heat. I haven't turned it on the past couple of days. I check on them a few times during the night before turning in myself to see where they are and they haven't been under the pad. The temperature in the garage has been hanging ~82F. Makes me believe what others here have been stating, the textbook of a chick needing 95 degree temperature might not be necessary.

I haven't been posting and I have so many chickie stories! My alpha Bantam has been vying for top male with my RIR. I have been watching closely. No, my RIR is never aggressive with him but he let's him know and I think he has put him in his place. I posted on the aggressive rooster thread that I noticed my male Bantam is rough with one of the female Bantams. He chases her in every night and one night he was quite aggressive about it. The next night he didn't do it he went in with the hens and didn't do his usual walk around at the end of the day. Then I noticed he mounted, (lots of that gong on lately! where's my eggs!!) one of the pullets and the RIR gently nudged him off of her. Last night he started chasing the female pullet and was under the coop with her. I wanted to see how he was behaving but by the time I got to the bottom step of the deck, he came out, followed by the pullet and so did the RIR. The Bantam proceeded inside the coop and again did not do his usual end of day walk around the coop check. The RIR rooster and hen did. I feel bad for him because he so much wants to be the leader.

I will post pics of the littles etc. shortly.

Have fun!
Here is a pic. of my alpha male Bantam. He doesn't have an official name. In my head I call him Eril Flynn. He's a handsome boy

Here's a pic. of the littles. They are standing on top of the heating pad. It's a bit blurry...hey, what can I say, it was early morning.
Went to the county fair yesterday and picked up a chickie. They were hatching day olds all weekend. Hubby wanted her so we own her now. I was seconds away from owning the allusive black silkie! I was directed to the barn where they were selling day old chicks by someone in charge of the chicken exhibit. I began chatting up the girl as she was picking up the customers chosen chicks. I asked if she had black bantam chicks in the holding area. She said yes. I was so excited!! I felt like Dorothy finally meeting up with the great and wonderful Oz! She said to me, "the little ones are the bantams". There was one left in the middle. I said "yes, that one!" One the inside, I'm yelling I got one , I got one! The lady that was currently picking out her's must have heard me and she said I want a black bantam. The girl that was holding what I thought would be mine gave her the bantam. Once again, I left with no bantam. I am not sure what type I have. I thought maybe a silver wyandotte because she looks similar to the one I have brooding now but I'm not certain because she has blonde markings underneath. My current littles took her right in. I got up this morning and she was standing on top of the heating pad with the others. She's the little, little. The littles appear big in comparison. I named her Norma Jean. Hoping she thrives. In the meantime, I'm still on the hunt for day old female black silkies. For whatever reason, the universe isn't allowing it to happen.
Miss little little, otherwise known as Norma Jean, is doing well. The other littles take good care of her. Last night I checked in on them and they were huddled in a corner snoozing. The littles all got up when they saw me and there tucked in the middle of them is Norma Jean. I'm wondering if she's an Australorp. Not a bad thing. We saw one at the fair and I commented on how pretty that breed was. I was looking at pictures of varies breeds in the chick stage, she looks similar to one....time will tell when she begins to feather out. I have read that Wyandotte's are known to be friendly. Currently, both of mine don't like to be held. I reach for them and they take off like a flash. For littles they fly rather well. The 2 mottled cochin bantams are quite friendly. They will step right into my hand. The first time one did it, I thought it was a fluke. I outstretched my hand again and she did it again. So now I always do it and sometimes they just sit and chill. They grow so quickly! I used to be able to hold both in my hand at once. Now one fills my hand. This weekend they are being introduced to the big girl coop. Even little little. She doesn't like to be left alone. If the others are on the other side of the heating pad and not with her she squawks. I wanted to put them out there this past weekend but life got busy and I wouldn't have had the time to keep a watchful eye on them.

There's a lot of activity going in the coop but still no eggs. I check with my flash light every morning and come up empty. One morning I will be surprised.

I think my roo's time pieces were off this morning. They woke me up at 3:30. Hopefully they didn't wake my neighbor. Although, I think my closest neighbor is far enough away that the noise isn't heard unless you go outdoors. There have been times I don't hear my own until I am outdoors.

I need to post some new pics. of the littles and of little little.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom