Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chicks and a Mega Egg

This has been a strange, uncharacteristic spring.  It did the typical "hurry up and get super hot fast", and it certainly had a few late killing frosts that we've come to expect after decades in the Grand Valley, but we just might set a record for the latest killing frost, coming this Tuesday.  We are expecting a fairly nasty storm on Mother's Day Sunday, and it has been unseasonably cold for the past two days.  I am having to monitor the new chicks's brooder temperature on a regular basis.  I do change their water regularly (3 times a day, or more, if necessary), and naturally check on them, but the fluctuation in outdoor temperature has made this a little tricky.  After all, our setup is not a science lab, but a rather old-fashioned, basic stuff.  When the outdoor temperature during the day, in the sun, gets to be 85 degrees, which it was just a few days ago, the brooder only requires a small bulb in the heat lamp.  But then, if the morning low is around 40 degrees, we definitely want to adjust that.    This is one thing that's more difficult with a smaller brooder area this time around.  Just like fish aquarium, small space changes its environmental conditions a lot faster than a larger space. ^^;

That said, we've had a chance to observe our chicks and decide on their names. :D  I wish I could take pictures of them all looking at me and holding still, but they just won't do that. LOL  If anything, they're always looking away just as I think I'm ready to take a great shot...

From left, Vanilla (light yellow Easter Egger chick), Mocha (dark brown Easter Egger), Lavender and Sage (Barred Plymouth Rocks).  Mocha is a spaz.  She runs around the other three in circles or between two making figure 8.  Hard to believe she was looking really tired and wobbly upon arrival and I worried she may not make it.   She's a tough little chicky.

Unfortunately though, overnight, Lavender has developed a Pasty Butt, and she was weak this morning.  I carefully removed the crusty poop from her vent with warm water and cotton balls.  She was able to poop shortly afterwards and ate a little bit, but mostly sleeping.  Hope she's going to be OK.

So hard to take cute pics of chicks!  Frustrating... XD

But so much easier to take pics of the ever-so-cooperative eggs!  Check out the Mega Egg Fiona laid on Friday morning!!  This has got to be a two-yolker, I think.  The one on the left is the egg she laid just a day before.  That's about the regular grocery store's "large" egg.  The colors are very pretty, aren't they?  Love Easter Eggers for their green eggs.  Jr. thinks Fiona's eggs have a nicer flavor than Dorito's.  Their eggs definitely have perkier yolks, and the yolk colors are more orange than yellow.  When I cracked a store-bought egg next to one of our girls' eggs, the difference was noticeable.  I'll have to take a pic of that sometime and post.  *Edit: Just weighed the Mega Egg on my digital scale and it said 3.5 oz!  

Now that our ladies have come out of the molting phase, their feathers are just fresh and gorgeous!  Look how beautiful Fiona is with her gold and black neck feathers!!

Dorito, pecking on the treat cube.  They love the 25-lb cube of various seeds and grains.  They come out of the coop in the morining, and usually run straight to the cube.  Dorito has also finished molting and looking quite beauitful these days.  I love her red feathers, too. :D

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