Thursday, March 31, 2011

Catching up!

I know I haven't posted in a while, and here's why...

Our adult rooster, Precious Boy, got frost bite from the winter weather.  On the 23rd, we took him and the chicks to the vet.  The vet checked the chicks stool for coccidia, and found nothing.  Their poo was clear.  Yay!  But poor Precious had to have the frost bite cut out, and lost four toenails.  I've been spending a lot of time babying and pampering him while he's been healing.  And we've been building a new coop for the chicks.  The coop is pretty much done, but needs nest boxes and roosts still.  Oh... and a run.  lol 

Well, Precious wasn't doing too good outside, so I brought him in the house.  Then I noticed that little Angel wasn't doing good.  He was all wobbly, and couldn't hold his head/neck still. 

Well, we don't have the money for another trip to the vet right now, so I don't know what's wrong with him.  He's been like this for about three or four days now.  I feed him chick feed that I soften with water, and give him water to drink through a medicine dropper/syringe.  He doesn't really seem worse, but he doesn't seem better either.  I have no idea if he will get better, or die.  AND I don't know what caused this.  Some are suggesting Marek's, but as I read more about it, I don't think it is.  There are no cuts, bumps, bruises, or anything anywhere on him.  No enlarged body parts, and nothing weird going on with his eyes.  Whatever it is seems to be neurological.  I just wish I knew what it was, and whether or not he will get better.  I also wish I had the money to take him to the vet to decipher what's wrong, and if he won't get better, or will die anyway, have him put down rather than suffer any more. 

The other chicks are all doing well.  They are strong, healthy, and happy.  They are about ready to go out in their coop, which may end up being our weekend project.  Jade (Nemo) and Aurora (Ricky) keep getting into tiffs.  Jade keeps winning, so I think he's the top boy in there.  He ends up biting Aurora on the head/comb, causing Aurora to shriek and scream.  When they go out, Angel will stay inside where I can keep tending to him constantly. 

Well how 'bout them apples?  The vet just called me to check on Precious.  lol  I talked to him about Angel, and he said that it sounds like it's his serabelum (sp).  Sometimes they can get better, or even just a little better, and sometimes not.  And it would be something he would always live with.  It would be something that happened while Angel was in the egg, and it's catching up with him now.  He suggested giving him some aspirin water (4 drops twice a day), to maybe help any inflammation he may be having going on.  And he wants me to call him back in a few days to let him know how he is.  I guess that if he doesn't die from it, but will suffer the rest of his life from this... the best thing may be to put him down.  We'll see if he gets any better.  A friend mailed me some chick saver (?) that I should get possibly on Saturday.  I'll keep you all posted.  Cross your fingers for recovery and no suffering!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update pics of the chicks!

Look and see how big they're getting!  Their feathers are growing in too!






               Ruby has crooked toes too...  great.  We're going to have fun straightening toes.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chores are getting done!

So since we've had a nice, dry, semi-comfortable weekend, we decided to get some work done.  The old coop and run have been torn down, ground smoothed back out, and the new run is almost finished.  We'll complete the new run tomorrow so Precious Boy and his girls, who have been cooped up for a few weeks, can get back out and enjoy themselves.  They had previously been flooded out of their old coop and run.  After this one is done, we can get started on building a third coop.  I made the floor for it today.  Nice and strong!  lol  And then we have two more runs to build, and a garden to get up and going.  Thank goodness for nephews that can help out!

The chicks had their first LIVE treat today.  It was funny!  While we were digging around, we found a handful of worms that we fed to them.  (I read it was okay to feed worms to them at this age.)  They weren't sure of the worms at first, then couldn't get enough of them!  They'd pick up a worm and run all over with it/them.  It was very entertaining to watch.  (Precious, Gloria, and Mable all got to enjoy some worms this weekend too.)  =)

I still don't have any updated pictures yet, but will soon.  I just have to say that you can finally tell they are growing.  I think that they have at least doubled in size.  They're trying more and more to fly.  Luckily they aren't trying to fly away from us.  I worry they may try sometime, but don't want to trim their wing feathers.  Once the third coop is up, they may be big enough to be put in it, but not the run quite yet.  And I have learned that the ameraucana's are indeed bantam's.  So that's good since we were planning to keep them in with them anyway.

We had a nice warm day yesterday, but chillier today.  And it's going to be colder tomorrow.  Hopefully it doesn't take us too long to get the last touches done on the run.  =/  lol

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Update on breeds and health...

Well, four or five of the chicks have diarrhea.  We're taking our adult rooster to the vet Wednesday, and they will check out the diarrhea problem with the chicks while we're there.

A friend on facebook was trying to name some of the breeds, and I found they were right about one breed.  Jade and Ruby appear to be golden sebrights.  Sebright hens lay about 1 tiny egg that is cream or tinted in color, and have rose combs.  When I was looking at the combs they are slowly growing, I thought they looked like they would be rose or pea.  And Jade's comb is slightly bigger than Ruby's, although they are only just starting to grow them.  They were thinking that Aurora may be a silver sebright, but Aurora is growing his/her comb in, and it isn't shaped like that.  It is more of a single comb that sticks up. 

Aurora, Ruby, Angel, and one or two of the ameraucana chicks all have the diarrhea issue.  Hopefully they will get better soon.  I'm sure it will eventually spread to the rest of the group before it's over. 

One other thing I have noticed is that they seem to be somewhat attached to me already.  Some of them attempt to groom me, which I find interesting.  Diamond, one of the fuzzy footers has done something even more interestingly funny.  I was holding Diamond, and she/he decided to crawl down onto my leg.  (I was laying in bed.)  My husband reached over to pet Diamond, who decided to go running back to mommy for protection.  lol  And my husband says they are HIS babies.  HAH!  lol

As for the ameraucana chicks... they are both doing very well.  The "lazy" chick has finally perked up and is keeping up with the rest very well.  Crooked toe now has a permanent name... Eagle.  We're not sure, but we think Eagle is a male while the other is a female.  That one still needs a name.

We are working on backup names for the chicks who turn out to be males instead of females.

Aurora will be Ricky if male
Ruby will be Ruben
Eagle will still be Eagle
Jade will be Nemo
The rest... well... we're still working on the rest.  lol

I think some of these babies may very well be on their way to being show birds.  Jade, one of the golden sebrights, poses on its own.  Still working on getting Jade used to having his/her vent, wings, legs, feet, etc looked at.  (As with all of the others.)  Diamond... we're still trying to figure out what Diamond and Angel are.  They seem exactly the same, except for one thing...  Diamond has fluffy cheeks.  Diamond has the same comb type, coloration, and fuzzy feet as Angel.  Just fluffy cheeks... like an ameraucana.  It's weird.  I wonder if Diamond is a mutt?  A cross between whatever Angel is (possibly cochin or brahma) and an ameraucana?  Or, if Diamond just happens to have fluffy cheeks right now.  But I have to say that Diamond is proving to be somewhat show worthy as well.  Poses beautifully, takes excellent pictures... still working on the having wings, vent, legs, feet, etc examined. 

We'd like to tag all of our birds with leg bands.  My husband's idea is to put blue on the boys, and pink on the girls... though I don't like pink, so we agreed to use purple instead.  That's good and all, but I suppose we'd then have to continue to paint toe nails to tell the girls apart if we can't otherwise.  I mean... we're getting a shipment of chicks in May.  2 speckled sussex hens, and 10 silkies... of which only one is supposed to be a boy.  So how else can we tell the girls apart?  Nail polished toes.  =)  lol  We're going to wait until all of our birds are full grown to put leg bands on them though, so we don't have to worry about them outgrowing them.  I'm thinking of going with bandettes, or spiraled bands.  I don't really like the idea of not being able to easily get them on and off.

Differences in combs to determine genders?  Well, I mentioned a little above... but here we go....
Jade's comb is bigger than Ruby's
Aurora has the biggest comb, but no others that are the same breed to determine a real difference
Eagle seems to have a bigger comb than "the lazy chick"
And Angel appears to have a bigger comb than Diamond
So we could have 3 or 4 boys and/or 3 or 4 girls.  I'm hoping for more girls.

A friend of mine is letting me purchase some of her bantam cochin eggs.  The babies will be added to the group of bantams we have now.  I'm curious though whether the ameraucana's are bantam or large fowl.  They are a week older than the original 5, who are bantams, and are just about the same size... only a fraction of a bit bigger, which is hardly noticeable.  I guess time will tell.  OR... I could email the lady we got them from and ask her.  That would be smart.  lol  That is... if she left a way to email her on her ad.  My husband called her about purchasing the chicks, so if no email... maybe I can convince him to call her real quick to ask about their size.

Well... that's about all the update I have for now.  Sorry no pics this time.  I don't want to harass them while they're not feeling good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Updated pics... can you tell who is who? =)

Well, just in case you can't tell, I will put their names with the pictures.  =)  They are really growing!  It's amazing!

This is little Angel.  Managed to fly up just enough to get up on top of the brooder lamp.  lol

So... who is who?  Can you guess?  Diamond has more gray to her chest, and fluffy cheeks.  Angel is lighter colored and starting to grow a comb.  Well, technically they're both growing combs.  lol  Do you know who is who yet?

Remember... they are both fuzzy footed babies!  =)

How about this view?  Can you tell who is who?  Angel has lighter colored wings....

Last chance to guess!  Angel has more of a tail.  They were both kept on the same knees.. no one moved.  Diamond is on the left, and Angel on the right.  =)  Ready to do another one?

Who is who?

Here we have Jade and Ruby.  Which one is which?

                                                             Have you guessed yet?

See the tail difference?  Okay, I'll tell you.  Ruby is on the left, Jade on the right.  Jade has more of a tail and is darker colored.

Here are some more pics!

                                                                Aren't they cute???

Now, I know these ones are newer... but can you tell who is who?  Neither really has a name, but we are temporarily calling one of them crooked toe... because it has a crooked toe.  lol

See the tail difference?  Crooked toe is on the left.  He/she has longer wings and a longer tail that is brown.  The other one has a whiter tail and shorter wings.  Crooked toe is also starting to grow a comb.  Just barely there, have to look hard.  And the other one has been spending today and yesterday sleeping about 95% of the time.  I dip his/her beak in water so it can get a drink.  Hubby placed some loose feed on the ground in front of it to get it to eat, and it worked.  =)  Hopefully it will perk up soon.  Now... we just need some real names for them, and decipher gender(s).

Here are a couple more pictures for you!

Crooked toe on the left, Aurora (Ricky) in the middle, and then the "lazier" chick on the right.

Alright kids, that's it for today.  Wasn't that a fun game?  lol  Oh!  Can you see Aurora's comb growing?  And if you look close, you can sort of see the "comb" difference between these two ameraucana's.  =)       Hasta luego

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New chicks in the crew!

Okay, so our dumb butts decided to get some Ameraucana chicks.  And my husband actually was so desperate to get some RIGHT NOW that he was willing to drive to Orrville for them.  The people there show their birds, so the chicks are of a good line.  Now, I have showed him how to gender them by feathers because we thought we were getting day old chicks.  Nah... we ended up with 2 week old chicks (a week older than our current bantam chicks).  I let him pick them out.  He picked two he was thinking were both girls.  We start to head home, and as I was holding them on the drive home... I saw that one looks like it is starting to grow its comb.  Hmmm...  Just little bumps, but noticeable if you are really looking.  After we get home and we're both holding them, we decide to paint the toenails on one of them so we can tell them apart.  She said they are wheaton's (sp).  We decided to paint the nails of the one that is growing its comb, and as I painted its nails I noticed it has one crooked toe.  Not sure if there is anything I can do to straighten it.  Probably not.  Now, that one seems to be doing fine now.  Finely starting to relax and join the group of bantams.  The other one just lays there.  It wasn't when it was with its hatchling group at the other house.  It was running around, chirping, and carrying on.  I hope it perks up by tomorrow.  If not, it will be like trying to care for little Bumble again... and I hope, if so, it doesn't have the same result.  We paid $6 each for them, and they have been vaccinated.  I will continue to post on all of the chicks, and keep updating about all of them and how they are doing and growing.  We have also noticed that the one with the crooked toe, and growing comb has a tail, while the other doesn't quite yet.  Well...  without further ado...  Here are pictures of the new Ameraucana chicks!    =)

This is the one with the crooked toe, and growing comb...

Here they are both together... crooked toe facing to the right...

(Can you see the tail difference in the above picture?)

(Such big wings for such little babies...)

And that chick above is the one that is just laying around sleeping the whole time.  Wakes up and sits straight up fast when we touch it.  Perhaps it just needs more time to settle in.  I have showed them where the food and water is, and dipped their beaks in them.  Even left them sitting by the food.  Then they walked back over to be under the brooder light.  (Come on little one... perk up!)