Moonkit's Clan! *NOW WITH PICS ON POST 5*


8 Years
Apr 20, 2011
Richardson, Texas
Well.. today marks the day as my adventures in chicken keeping begin!

I purchased two white-crested black polish chicks and 2 easter egger chicks. They're currently snoozing under a brinsea ecoglow chick brooder. They are 10 days old and eating and drinking well. I'll take pictures tomorrow afternoon of the little darlings. My border collie has already learned that the chicks are not to be played with (if she values her life) and my sun conures want to mother them (Judging from the "pigeon coos" that they were doing while looking at them.. oddly, it did seem to calm the chicks.) My sheltie took one sniff and decided she could care less and hasn't looked at them since.

There has already been one escape attempt by one of the polish crested chicks. It was not successful as she only made it to the table beside the box I was temporarily holding them in. Since I was watching them like a hawk, she was quickly recaptured and returned to her incarceration
. I believe I received my first stink eye. I watched and checked and rechecked on them several times during the afternoon until I had seen them all visiting the food and water bowl. Ok.. now I can be sure that they at least know where to go for their meals and water.

Games of "who can throw more of the bedding on the other chicks" were common as they seem to enjoy scratching around in their pine chip bedding. I can't wait until their old enough to introduce treats to.. what age is recommended for that?
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Can't wait to see those top knots!

I didn't give my chicks treats until they were 4 weeks old. I gave them bread and fresh cut grass.
My clan grew further and my camera refuses to give me decent pictures. I will have to have a heart to heart talk with it about its unacceptable behavior. It hasn't all been sunshine and daisies.. regrettably, one of the araucanas had to be culled. It was getting sicker by the day and wasn't improving. The health of the other chicks took precedence and its suffering aided the decision. However, over the Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday to be exact) two black australorps, two silver laced wyandottes, and two silkies were purchased and integrated into my little flock. They now number 9.

On Sunday, their coop was brought to the house and set in its place in the backyard. With growing dust in the house and warm temperatures outside (and a constant use of the ecoglow as a mere dancing platform) the decision was made to move the little fuzz butts to their new abode. Citing an inability to reach the roosting poles and a strong desire to merge into a feathery mass, a small hamster cage covered by a blanket was provided as sleeping quarters and security. 24 hour access to medicated chick starter and apple cider flavored water and chick sized grit was also provided. The joys of sunbathing were discovered as they would flop onto their sides in a sunny spot, stretch out a wing and leg and entered what could only be described as chicken rapture! The joys of yogurt mixed with their starter and yummy bugs and grass bits were discovered as they began foraging in the grass of their allotted area. Much hilarity was witnessed when one of the slw's found a worm. The other chicks believed in sharing, the slw was not so convinced. Artemis, the remaining araucana, displayed her thievery skills as she secured the worm and devoured its squishy goodness.
My camera was unimpressed with my lecture. Alas.. harder methods will have to be attempted. Sadness once again struck the largest part of my feathered half of my clan.. one of the silver laced wyandottes took ill and succumbed the next morning. However, the lady she was purchased from was extremely kind and provided a replacement for the loss. I would like to give a shoutout to JustinTime Kennels & Hatchery for their compassion! She was nice enough to give me one that she said she had selected for her own flock to be a breeder bird. I hope I can somehow repay this kindness one day.

I attended the First Mondays Canton fair.. where a beautiful columbian wyandotte caught my eye. She became the 10th and final addition to my flock. I adore her gorgeous coloring.. but am a little sad as I planned for a milli fleur d'uccle to fill that slot. Oh well. She's still sweet and adorable and enjoyed her carride home on my friend's lap!

I also want to use this post to maintain a list of my flock.. Hopefully they will all earn names:

Artemis the arucana - Named for an early display of hunting prowess of ants. Artemis is one of the bravest and most dominant in the flock. Until I introduced Kerowyn, I thought she was shaping up to be the lead hen, but it's early yet. She is quick and clever. She was the first to try the mealworms and grapes that I offered and now often steals treats off slower chicks. She has also braved hopping up onto my knee for better access to any offered treats. She is also the fastest at stealing treats from her flockmates.


Mikaela the white crested black polish - She has taken over the spot as the most adventurous with Valkyrie's demise. She seems to possess a sweet and inquisitive nature. Tends to always be the first one to the treats and the first to explore new areas. She seems to have the fastest reflexes of the bunch as I saw her catch and eat a yellowjacket out of the air.


Morticia the black australorp - larger of the two


Wednesday the black australorp - smaller of the two


Stormy the Grey Silkie - After her near death experience, Stormy has become assertive and inquisitive.. although not much smarter for the experience. She was the last to figure out how to roost, but is always the first to start peeping for the rest to go back to the coop to sleep.


Tabitha the Silver Laced Wyandotte - The largest of the group, Tabitha is not inclined to stay at the back of the pack. She happily tramples her flockmates to reach the treats.
She had started to teach the others to roost on the offered bars in their coop.


Anabelle the Silver Laced Wyandotte - Smaller (possibly younger) than Tabitha, Anabelle tends to be shier than the rest and a bit more flighty.


Kerowyn the Columbian Wyandotte - The newest and last addition to the flock... Kerowyn has a sweet disposition, but also a dominant streak. When she was introduced in the evening, Artemis tried to dominate her by pinning her to the ground and biting her neck. However, a few minutes later, Kerowyn realized that she was a bit bigger than Artemis. After a few more bloodless squabbles, Kerowyn seems to have established her dominance over the group. Artemis now defers to her. She also seems to have an independent streak in that she tends to wander away from the group.

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Well.. tragedy struck twice more. Valkyrie was failing to thrive with both Artemis and Mikaela nearly triple her size. She also continually suffered from a pasty butt, discharge from her nostrils, and lethargy. The choice was made to cull her to spare her more suffering. After that, I left on a week of vacation to Canada. During that time, tragedy struck once more when, one night during a heavy rainstorm, all the chicks figured out that the coop meant shelter.. except for Raven and Stormy (then named Smokey).

For reasons unfathomable, Raven and Smokey, instead of moving with the rest of the chicks to the higher ground of the coop, or even onto the lowest roosting bar that they had both reached easily in the past.. remained at the lowest point of the run and, from what my parents could tell, drowned. My parents went out to find the rest of the flock wet and miserable (but in the coop), but Raven and Smokey both appeared to be dead. Since the living took precedence, they took the rest inside to dry them off and warm them up. About 30-45 minutes later, my father went out to take care of Raven and Smokey. Raven was stiff as a board when he picked her up, but when he picked up Smokey, she gave the smallest, most pathetic "Peep". Shocked that she still seemed to be alive, he rushed her inside to mother where they spent over 2 hours working to warm her back up. I'm told "she looked like a wet sock" and "I wouldn't have given that bird a 2% chance of survival." She was placed in the hastily thrown back together brooder and covered with a towel. They said a short while later, she was running around the bin, leaping at the sides and cheeping for her flockmates.

I do wonder if anyone can explain what happened.. why did they remain in the lowest part of the run instead of following their flockmates to higher ground? Apparently Tabitha and Kerowyn (who had learned to roost from Tabitha) were the only ones who were not wet at all. The rest seemed to have hopped up to the roosting bars after the rain started (thus contributing to their then wet state). Do I attribute this to the arguably lesser intelligence of silkies?
Finally added pictures today. It was quite an ordeal with half the flock jumping into my lap for treats. I love how affectionate they are.. and I find it interesting that while they used to be terrified of the dogs, they now are only wary about being stepped on by them. They have no qualms about eating treats from my hand with the dogs standing or laying next to me. I wonder how long it'll be until my sheltie allows them to perch on her?
I am sorry for the losses of some of your girls. You have told your story well, and I love the names you have come up for your girls. I do not own a silkie, but have heard their feathers block thier vision at times. Although, Cookie, my EE is not as smart as my BR or Brahma. Maybe, like people, some chickens are smarter than others.
That may be true.. but as you can see from Stormy's picture.. they were both young pullets.. they hadn't grown enough crest to block their vision.. both were still clear eyed.

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