Raising our first batch. (A kid's journey)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kajira, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    MY 5 year old can't type yet, so I'll be typing for her, but she's looked through the threads with me and was really excited to participate and have her own thread for her first batch of easter egger chicks.

    [​IMG]


    We got "5" hens (we got an extra, so 6 total) and 2 roo's from Cackle Hatchery. They all arrived alive, and in good condition. So far, so good. They peck at me when I put my hands in off and on, and I can pick them up and hold them for a few minutes with out them freaking out on us.

    If they put their necks out and start chirping really loud, I put them back in their pen. We hold them until they do that though, so they are quickly learning to communicate with us on when they want us to put down. One of the yellow chicks freaks out really fast and always wants us to put her down.

    Our two males are the loudest protesters.

    The reddish-brown one pecks the most.

    Our dark colored ones, and dark spotted on love being held the most.

    [​IMG]


    We haven't quite figured out how to tell apart our 2 males (they have a green spot on their head, courtesy of the hatchery, but the males look identical right now) but our two yellow hens also look like almost identical, and we still need to figure out how to tell them apart. Once we get to know them better, we'll name them.


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    One of the roo's is always staring at me and tilting his head. I tease my daughter that he's plotting ways to eat us. :p
     
  2. KoopOnTruckin

    KoopOnTruckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    143
    126
    Jun 17, 2016
    East Orlando, FL
    Looks like a really fun project!! I used zip ties to tell my chicks apart, attaching them to the legs but I have to replace them every 2 weeks or so as their legs grow. There are also wing clips with numbers/letters, but I've not read much about them and don't know if you need to replace them as they grow.

    That roo looks intimidating, you may want to put a lock on your brooder at night...
     
  3. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    [​IMG]


    he always relaxes and sits calmly with me, so maybe he hates me because we hold him??? LOL

    He was the first one to eat out of my hand though and is getting the other chickens okay with me... so I have to love him a little bit.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My spotted one hasn't eaten from my hand, but she's the only one who likes to climb all over me.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    [​IMG]


    (I'm a little OCD and make her use paper towels on her lap because they poop. haha)

    [​IMG]


    I find holding them in pairs, makes them act more relaxed when being held.

    [​IMG]


    She likes feeding them - so this lets them eat while she holds them, so they associate her with good stuff.

    [​IMG]


    The speckled female is the boldest one, and is the first to come over and peck you, let you pick her up, and will try new things first. She's very brave, and alpha. She already pushes the other chickens around a little bit. (She's not mean about, but she definitely seems to be the boss.)
    [​IMG]


    She's the first chick- named, and we are calling her "Astrid" LOL

    It suits her.

    [​IMG]


    this is our second boldest chick - If she stays all dark - I may name her Hershey. I just don't know what she'll look like when she's all grown, so i'm reserving judgement until she starts getting feathers. But she's my daughters favorite.

    [​IMG]


    this is one of the male roosters (on the right.) He's the one who always looks like he's planning on gutting you in his sleep. He makes eye contact and is fearless. He also sits on her shoulder, in the crook of her arm and will peck at the buttons on her shirt. He seems to really like people, despite his murderous glares.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Then the little red-splotchy hen, may end up just being "Red hen" LOL

    We haven't named the two "females" that we can't tell apart yet (that are all yellow) and our two males we haven't named yet, I'm still struggling to tell them apart at first glance. I can tell by personality though once I watch them for a few minutes. The more dominant one always runs up to me to say "hi" and stare me in the eyes. LOL

    He's plotting to over throw us. He just has to figure out how :p
     
  5. KoopOnTruckin

    KoopOnTruckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    143
    126
    Jun 17, 2016
    East Orlando, FL
    Yes holding them in pairs seems to work out better than individually. But that means double the poop! They are adorable, BTW!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    haha, that's why paper towels on the lap definitely seem to help! LOL I'm not a fan of being pooped on.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Chicks definitely can be distressed if they aren't with at least one of their flockmates...good observation that they do better in pairs!

    I found that, in general, the chicks seem to be a bit more relaxed about me around three weeks old or so. I am "food-giver" instead of "predator", I guess!
     
  8. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    Our males eat from our hands already, and the others are slowly following in their foot steps... so hopefully that 3 week mark you're talking about is the magic bonding period! :)
     
  9. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    Yeah, I figure it's when learning/experience start to have a greater influence over behavior. It's definitely when they would run to me in the brooder and ask to be picked up instead of scattering to the four winds. I will say that my Dominiques were precocious in this regard, but they were bolder and more curious than the other breeds anyway.
     
  10. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    6,029
    1,452
    326
    Aug 6, 2016
    Texas
    These are all easter eggers - I'm going to be ordering 1 more egger hen - plus 3 polish crested, and 5 golden buff - I'll put my 3 polish and 2 of the golden buff with my first coop, and then 2 golden's with my easter eggers just to make it so if both roosters make it to adult hood, there's plenty of hens to keep them happy.

    They seem to average about 1-2 chickens lost a month, if you have a lot of them for various reasons, so I think I'll allow my daughter to hatch 2-3 eggs every couple of months, just to replace any we lose, and if we get too many roosters, I'll have to learn how to cull them for meat. My husband says they aren't worth eating, amount of energy to meat wise... but it's so easy to raise them and you know what they eat and they were treated humanely... it just appeals to me. LOL

    (Granted, i've never butchered anything in my life, so we'll see if I have the stomach for it. I went 10 years with out eating chickens when my grandma's dogs killed our pet chickens and I came home to the mess after school. It made me puke and I couldn't eat chicken with out that image popping into my head for a very long time.) I like to think i've hardened up over the years since then. :hmm

    I'm definitely trying to figure out the survivability rate of chicks you buy and order online, so in the future, if I want to order some, I order an amount that will make it more likely to ahve the # I want to adult hood.

    I've lost 3 chickens out of the 8 I started with, and we got them at a couple months old. They were all roosters, and all the Rhode island reds.... The bigger the bird, the worse they do here.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by