Did SHE Just…. CROW?

Okay ladies and gentlemen.. I must express how I feel about this sudden discovery. Do you all remember how the Treats for Chickens family got 9 baby chicks about four weeks ago? And how I was especially fond of one cute lil’ grey Bantam in particular? If not, here’s a picture to refresh your memory.. 

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My baby Gandalf! Get it? Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings (Aren’t I so clever?)

And if you DID remember her, well, there’s just a cute photo of a chick to help get you through the day, LOL. Okay, movin’ on. Baby Gandalf has been going through lots of changes lately, as all baby chicks usually do when growing into Pullets/Cockerels and then into Hens/Roosters. But there have been two pretty significant changes that Gandalf has gone through that have most definitely stuck out to me.. 

Change #1.) Gandalf the GREY isn’t so GREY anymore!!

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Gandalf was spending a little bit of time with me yesterday in my house!

Yeah. Pretty crazy right? This is my first time raising chickens, so seeing an all grey (light grey actually) chick grow into a full on BLACK chicken just blows my mind. 

Change #2.) My sweet little female chicken made quite a startling noise the other day.. I was not there to witness it, however Dawn (my boss and the owner of Treats for Chickens) did. This is basically how the conversation went down… 

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My response is in blue. I was shocked to say the least.

Yeah. I was quite surprised. Dawn sent me the text message above on 5/27/15 when I was getting ready for work. After I got home, I took Gandalf inside for a while to see if he would crow for me. I started mimicking a rooster’s crow, hoping he would start singing back. After an hour of hanging out, my voice started going hoarse. So I returned Gandalf to the rest of his fellow brothers/sisters in the coop with no luck of witnessing a crow for myself. 

The only thing I have personally noticed on Gandalf that might point to him being a rooster is that his comb and wattle are significantly larger then the other hens his age. He also pecked me the other day pretty friggin’ hard! LOL. I don’t know if that is a sign or not, but he seems to be a little more aggressive compared to any of the other babies.

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What do you all think? Given the pictures, and the information above… Hen or Rooster? Please leave your opinions below, I would love to hear some feedback! 

Jessica B., Project Manager, Treats for Chickens

Our “Big” Buff

Below is a picture of our Buff Orpington, she goes by the name Daphne. She is about three weeks old, and is growing up too fast! I mean, I have never had chicks before, so the insane growth speed is phenomenal to me. My boss Dawn, however, has had upwards of 300 chicks. AT ONE TIME. Kudos to her, because I could never take on that responsibility . LOL

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Isn’t she precious? And those hands! Look at those hands! Those are worker-man, “dirt worshiping”, farmer boy fingers! Don’t we love that? Is that NOT the epiphany of love? Dirty, hard-working hands, combined with a sweet and innocent lil’ chick. Love it. After having chicks of our own, I have become a lot more interested in all the different breeds, sizes, colors, moods, etc. that go along with raising chickens! But I became especially intrigued in the history of these breeds..

Did y’all know that Buff Orpington’s originated in Orpington, Kent, United Kingdom in the late 1800’s? The first ever Orpington was bred by William Cook in 1886 by crossing Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks to achieve this very popular new hybrid bird.

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Langshan Chicken +

minorca

Minorca Chicken +

plymouth rock

Plymouth Rock Chicken =

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Buff Orpington Chicken!  (That’s our precious Daphne)

His first Orpington was black, William wanted a color that would hide the dirt and soot from the London streets very well. He then showed this new breed in Madison Square Garden in 1895 and the popularity of this new breed SOARED.

William Cook: "Inventor" of the Buff Orpington chicken

William Cook: “Inventor” of the Buff Orpington chicken

He focused his breeding efforts on developing the traits of this new breed, and in this process, many birds came in different color and patterns. He then kept breeding the new chickens with their unique colors with other Orpingtons, and before you knew it, he introduced many different types of Orpingtons. He first introduced Black, then the White Orpington, the Buff, the Speckled, and the Mottled. His son-in-law, A.C. Gilbert, then went on to breed and create the Blue and the Cuckoo Orpingtons. Pretty interesting, right?! 

What have been your experiences with Buff Orpington chickens? I’d love to hear about the attitudes you’ve experienced, the colors of their feathers, anything really! 

 

From Chick to Chicken

Has anybody else been reading Melissa Caughey’s new book A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens? I only know the few basics of chickens, so my boss Dawn (also the owner of Treats for Chickens) suggested that I give this read a try. And boy, let me tell you, I am learning so much! I am becoming educated in areas I never knew existed. As you all may hopefully already know, we recently purchased baby chicks. So all of Chapter 4 (From Chick to Chicken) just happens to be my favorite part so far. Our chicks are 2 weeks old right now, which is considered the “middle schooler” stage.

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 Here are our girls starting to perch in their brooder. In one picture, just hanging out overseeing everybody else, and within a second, there she goes! Off to try and escape. Our chicks are so spunky and happy, I love it!

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As you can see, all 9 of our chicks are starting to get their tail feathers and wing feathers! Gosh, they grow so fast. They are only two weeks old!

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Even one of our chicks is starting to grow her comb! I couldn’t believe it when I saw this. I had to capture a picture. I mean, two weeks old, and already growing a comb?! Is this normal? Again, I don’t know much about chickens, so this definitely shocked me..

The next step according to Melissa’s book is the teenager stage! They seem to look so awkward and scrawny at this point. We have about another week or so until they graduate from a middle schooler to a teenager! I still cannot believe it was only two Sunday’s ago we picked these girls up from the local feed store.. Anywho, thanks for checkin’ up on the update of our chicks! Click here if you want to get your own copy of A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens from our online store. I definitely recommend it to people of all ages, it is a very good read. That’s it for now, I’m flying the coop!

WE. HAVE. CHICKS!

Hi everybody, my name is Jessica and I am the project manager over here at Treats for Chickens. You might wonder, hmm.. What EXACTLY does a project manager do? I am sort of the “make sure nothing goes haywire” person. What I mean by that is I make sure all orders get filled and shipped properly so our customers receive nothing but the best – all across the USA.  There isn’t a grain, seed, mealworm, etc. that doesn’t get past me without being perfect!

This has been my position for almost a year now, and to be quite frank, up until now I have known absolutely NOTHING about chickens. Quite honestly, they terrify me. Pretty ironic don’t cha think? Here I am, working for this company who strives to ensure backyard chickens stay healthy and happy, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between a hen and a rooster. Okay.. You’re probably thinking, wow this girl can talk! And you’re totally right, enough about me, this is supposed to be about OUR NEW BABY CHICKS!

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9 of them to be exact. 9 of the most ADORABLE little things I have ever seen. I have never owned a chick, held a chick, fed a chick, none of it. I live on a “multi-family-compound”, with a bunch of dirt-worshiping, foodie, chicken enthusiasts. With that in mind, getting baby chicks was not my idea at all. But, being a member of the family property, I was definitely game to help out! Let me tell you, as soon as I saw those lil’ guys (and hopefully they are REALLY all gals) and held one for my first time, I fell in LOVE! I mean, how can one not love something so small and fluffy? I actually fell pretty head over heels for one in particular. She is a four-day-old Bantam Cochin (did I get that right?) and I named her Gandalf! Take a look at the pic below, and hopefully someone gets the joke and can get a good chuckle.

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Get it? Gandalf the Grey like from Lord of the Rings. Haha! Anyway, I am having the time of my life getting to know these girls. How fast they are growing on the other hand, is a tad bit frightening. Do any of y’all remember what it was like having your first chick? That warm feeling you get in your stomach when you know it is almost time to go see them? Because that is what I experience all the time. I am a first time blogger/chicken-keeper. So no one be too harsh please! I would love to hear any positive feedback. I will be doing weekly check-in’s so don’t forget to keep coming back! Cluck yea!