After what seemed like an eternity,
my fuzzy babies finally arrived!!!
Here they are at just 3 days old...
The babies are two weeks old now and growing very quickly. Their wing and tail feathers are coming in and they are attempting to fly. I'm surprised at how quickly they've bonded with me. The brooder is set-up in my office so that I can keep an eye on them all day. When I leave the room they get extremely loud and run back and forth until I come back in. Yesterday, I had them outside to play in the grass and when something startled them they all jumped into my lap!! I guess it's official... I'M A MOTHER HEN!!!
The Fluffy Babies & Ginnie
The City Girl Flock is now three weeks old. They are growing so fast that they upgraded to a bigger and better brooder thanks to my awesome husband. They seem to be quite happy.
Here they are at 4 weeks old. They're growing quite rapidly, eating more and yes, you guessed it, pooping more. Still very cute and entertaining though. We've notice in the past few days that Ethel's comb and feet are much bigger than the rest of the chicks which has me wondering if perhaps I misidentified her as the Light Brown Leghorn. I'm starting to think that she may actually be our Welsummer Rooster and if so, that would mean that Ethel is really Sir William Wallace. Hopefully we didn't get two roosters... Stay tuned...
The City Girl Flock is now six weeks old. They successfully completed their Coop Training which means that they've learned to go inside their coop at dusk. They love to free range, sun bathe and they LOVE blueberries.
After losing poor Lucy to a hawk this week, the City Girl Flock will only have supervised free range, at least until they are full grown. This tragic experience has left us (me and the City Girl Flock) traumatized. However, it's made them more aware of their surroundings. Now, when they are free ranging, they look towards the sky and will run in the coop if they see a hawk or sense danger. In a way, Lucy taught them a very valuable lesson. Thank you Lucy for sacrificing yourself for the rest of the Flock. I'm so sorry I didn't protect you the way I should have.
The City Girl Flock is eight weeks old today (August 18, 2014). They're growing rapidly and eating approximately two lbs. of organic chick feed a day! In addtion to supervised free range once a day, they also enjoy snacks of blueberries, cherry tomatoes, watermelon and their favorite...meal worms!!! They're not too fond of zucchini, cucumber and lettuce I've found out.
Our resident rooster, Sir William Wallace, is attempting to crow which is quite hysterical. Not sure how to describe it really so I'll try to document it and post it. It's also very sweet how he protects his girls. He lets them eat while he looks out for predators.
And, it seems that Jeeves is trying to adopt the City Girl Flock as her own. She often sits by the run and helps me supervise free range time.
The City Girl Flock turned 11 weeks old on September 8, 2014. They're outgrowing their coop so my wonderful husband is building a new one.
Sir William Wallace is starting to act like a rooster and taking on the role of Head of the Flock. The other day, much to my shock and horror, Willie attacked Ginnie. Nobody lost any blood and it hasn't happend again. I think Willie learned his lesson not to mess with Ginnie. He hasn't found his voice yet but he's still trying. And, he's quite the camera hog as you can see from all the photo bombs.
The girls are starting to figure out their ranking in the Flock as well. Ethel seems to be the Head Hen in Charge but I'm not certain yet. Time will tell. Cleo is definitely the class clown while Miss Amelia is the Elegant Lady in the bunch. Poor Ruby seems to be the Last Hen in the Pecking Order. The others, including Willie, will sometimes not let her eat until they're done. It's sad to watch and difficult for me to not intervene. Needless to say she gets a little extra affection from me :)
The City Girl Flock is spending more time free ranging and now that they're getting bigger I'm less nervous about leaving them alone for short periods of time. Hawks are less likely to attack larger chickens.
They're becoming more comfortable with their surroundings and are starting to venture out farther from the coop. They especially like being at the edge of the woods.
Today is October 13, 2014. The City Girl Flock is now 16 weeks old!! In the past few weeks the Flock has starting behaving more like, well, chickens. Their personalities are become more apparent and I've witnessed more of the pecking order in action. This is sometimes difficult for me since I want to intervene but it's important for them to establish their own place within the Flock.
We have a set of "mean girls", Miss Amelia and Gwendolyn. And it seems that poor Ruby is still at the bottom of the pecking order. Ruby has now become my new favorite, not just because she get's pecked on the most and I feel sad for her, but because of her persistence and determination. She'll run from the "mean girls" but always comes back to get what she wants.
Sir William Wallace is starting to protect his girls and I find this so sweet. If one of them gets separated from the rest, he runs to her calling for her to get back with the rest of the flock. On occasion I have to pick up one of the girls which makes them protest. He makes sure I know he's not happy about it. Every day, when I bring them treats, he watches to make sure they are safe and that I'm not going to hurt them. And, the other day when my husband got too close to them, Willie tried to attack him. We will have to keep an eye on that behavior. And he's getting much better at crowing!!
Today is October 27, 2014. The City Girl Flock is now 18 weeks old. They have been on Organic Grower Feed for the past six weeks and will be switching over to Organic Layer Feed in about two weeks. And, you know what that means!! They will soon be laying eggs!!! Most hens start laying eggs between 20 and 26 weeks old. They should each lay 1 - 2 eggs per day. However, egg production drops in the winter so I'm not sure what their production will be like but I'm so looking forward to getting our first egg!!
We've been working hard on getting the New Coop ready. It's been non-stop every night and every weekend. And, by "We've" I'm mean My Amazing Wonderful Husband!!
On this page you will find pictures of the City Girl Flock.
Newer pictures are at the bottom of the page.
November 4, 2014 - The City Girl Flock is now 19 weeks old!!!
The City Girl Flock turned 22 weeks old on November 24, 2014. They're in their new coop and seem to be adjusting nicely. Every morning I wake up with anticipation and hurry out to the coop only to be disappointed... no eggs yet. The girls are taking their sweet time :(
Sir William Wallace's hormones have kicked in and I'm not sure I like it. I was in mid-conversation with a first-time visitor, telling her that they have not started mating yet and right before my very eyes Willy jumps on Fiona!! I have never seen chickens "getting chicky with it" before. Let's just say I'm glad it was over in a matter of seconds.
And, unfortunately, Willie has decided he doesn't like Mr. Wonderful Husband. In fact, he has attacked him on more than one occassion and I've been warned that if it happens again Willie will end up in a roasting pan :(
We have our FIRST EGG!!!
So, Mr. Wonderful Husband was working outsite today (much like every day) He comes inside to tell me there's something going on in the coop. I step outside and hear a commotion like I've never heard from the City Girl Flock before. Fearing the worst, I run out to the coop expecting to find a tragedy. I step inside and immediately count chicken heads (which is something I do automatically several times a day). Everyone is accounted for. I don't see any blood shed. No one is being pecked on. No sign of any predator intrusion. I step inside their enclosure to see if I can calm them down. As I look to my right to get a better look inside the nesting boxes I SEE IT!! Our First EGG!! It's quite small but so perfect and so beautiful. Since, Fiona seemed to be the most "eggcited" I have to assume she was the egg layer. Today was a good day for The City Girl Flock (11/30/2014).
Farewell Sir William Wallace
Well, the day I dreaded and tried to postpone as long as possible has finally come. Sir William Wallace went to a new home. After trying every technique suggested to me for dealing with an aggressive rooster, it became clear that Willie had to go. He was so good at protecting his flock and it became difficult to be around them without fearing that he would attack. So I put the word out to some of the chicken groups I belong to (yes chicken groups do exist) and I was contacted by a very nice woman who lives on a farm in Warwick, NY where she and her family raise chickens and show them as well. She was looking for a Welsummer Rooster for her Welsummer Hens. She spoils her chickens (just like someone I know) and treats them like pets. So, on January 10, 2015, she and her family came out to meet Willie and it was incredible to see that he did not show any aggression toward any of them so I took that as a sign that they would be a good match for him. And so, off he went with his new family. It's been a couple of months since he's been gone and I still miss him. The girls have adjusted just fine and in some ways seem much calmer without him.
UPDATE: I contacted Willie's new family to check on him and sadly I was told that he became aggressive with them as well and so they re-homed him. While this makes me extremely sad, it does validate my decision to let him go. If experienced "chicken people" couldn't manage him then I know I did everything possible.
The Never Ending Winter - 2014/2015
Well, we survived another brutal winter (barely). With countless snow and ice storms, the girls didn't come out of their run for three months. Not only did we get hit with several feet of snow and ice this winter but we were also trying to cope with record breaking subzero temps. Even with heating the coop we still found ourselves thawing out the frozen pipes with a blow dryer on more than one occasion. Needless to say our heating bill is ridiculous.
Egg production slows down in the winter months but we still got 5-6 eggs per day which is much more than I expected. It's now the middle of March and we're getting 8 eggs per day!! And, just when I thought we were done with this brutal winter, they're predicting several inches for Friday... SPRING HURRY UP AND GET HERE!!!
Can I Squeeze In There???
So, as you know, Mr. Wonderful Husband built the City Girl Flock a beautiful new coop equipped with ten lovely nesting boxes. Well, my spoiled hens have taken a liking to one particular nesting box. Every once in a while I do find the occasional egg in a different box but most of the time I find them all in one box. It's quite funny to walk in on them and find one hen in their favorite box and the others standing in line or pacing around waiting their turn. There's usually quite the discussion going on I guess to pass the time while they wait.
On one particular morning, I walked in to do my daily coop cleaning and noticed Gwendolyn doing her "business" in the favorite box and waiting their turn were Zoila, Ethel and Amelia. Well apparently Zoila decided she didn't want to wait anymore and proceeded to squeeze in with poor Gwendolyn. I held my breath for a second expecting feathers to fly!! (remember, Gwendolyn is one half of the "Mean Girls"). But much to my surprise and relief, Gwendolyn did not react. Well, while observing this, Ethel and Amelia decided to get in on the act but eventually gave up when they figured out they all couldn't fit!!!
I love my silly silly girls
City Girl Flock Egg Cartons!!!
And here's Ethel and Fiona
Our Morning Routine
Every morning the girls go out into the run one by one while their maid cleans the coop.
Meet the Littles
So the Littles are settling in nicely. This time areound they were not allowed to be the house. We set-up the brooder in the Coop which is working out fine. The only drawback for me is that I can't spend as much time with them as I'd like. As a result, they're not bonding with me as the Big Girls did when they first arrived. Hopefully in time they will warm up to me.
Say hello to Ana (Anacona), Berniece (Barred Plymouth Rock), Clementine (Buff Brahma), Eleanor (Easter Egger), Fernanda (Salmon Faverolles), Miss Molly (Silver Cuckoo Marans), Wilhelmina (Welsummer), Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia (White Leghorns - named after the Golden Girls).
Sadly, we lost Clementine and Sophia a few days after their arrival :(