Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fascination with the Bad Girl Room

What a difference a couple days makes.

On Thursday I blogged about how I had to make a smaller section in my chick box to create a "time-out" room for the pecky-pecksters (Barred Rocks) who were mercilessly eye-gouging the baby Black Stars. This little cardboard room has now become *the* desired destination location for all the baby chicks. My twelve girls, all behaving sisterly toward one another for the most part, literally FLOCK to it when I open the little flap, scrabbling and jumping and chirping all the way. Some will even leap over the slower ones in their hurry to get to this small 1' x 2' section.

Once there, they chirp excitedly while pecking and scratching in the pine chips. They've even starting kicking their feet behind them, in that classic hen motion, which sends the chips flying every which way. Any chicks left behind in the other part of the box, due to cat-napping, thermometer observing, wing stretching or other chick pastimes, quickly run to catch up once they notice the mass exodus.

I've tried to make a short video of this...let's see how well I was able to capture the glee:

In other news, we started building our chicken coop today. :-)


  1. Hi Farmgirl! (aka Danni)
    Let me introduce myself...Eve here! My cousin in Maine told me about your blog and I, from northern NY, am just as fasinated with it as she is. Not only because I have a Shih tzu/Jack Russell mix, Daisy Lu, and she has a Cairn Terrier, Winslow Homer,"HI ROXY!!" but we both live in the country and are cheering for your every move!!! I just found you yesterday and have been trying to catch up on the drama and fun!!! I'm so excited for you and am rooting you on all the way! I'll be checking in with you and hopefully your spunk will rub off on me. I've always wanted to have more critters (chickens included). I had a rooster once, Rocky, and his only friends were he was a little odd. Until I brought him a little red hen...well that is a story maybe for another time, but the short of it was she didnt like him too much!
    Anyway, HI to you all...keep up the great work...and remember those sweet little chick'll all be a memory soon!
    Your new friend,

  2. Aww, that's so cute!....I think they missed the point of the 'time out' box.

  3. The like it there, because of the heat lamp. ...

  4. It may be time to romove the paper towel, those babies want to scratch. I'd toss in little bits of greens, grass or lettuce pieces and watch them really go crazy. And please keep the pictures of the fuzzy toppers comming because I curious to see them as they grow. Thanks for the "CHEEP" thrills!

  5. Your chicks crack me up. I am enjoying watching them and reading about their progress. Such fuzzy cuteness! You go girl!

  6. I agree with sugarcreekstuff. Remove the papertowels and let those cute peepers scratch in the shavings. It's more natural for them and easier on their legs, too.

    Congrats on the coop building. Sounds like you are going to get it done much faster than we did! haha

  7. Hi Eve! I'm so glad you introduced yourself. I'd love to see a picture of Daisy Lu - I'm not sure what a Shih tzu/Jack Russell mix looks like, though I've no doubt she's adorable! (Roxy's full name is Roxy Lou (as in Louise) - silly, I know. :-)
    Dang, thanks for all the supportive words - your comment really made me smile. Hope you'll be back and let me know when you've got your own blog set up! :-)

  8. Your chicks are doing great. They are so fun to watch. And they look exactly like mine:) I peaked in on mine about 4 am this morning before we left for Eugene and all the chicks were sleeping like babes except my Red Star. She was on high alert. I hope she isn't a he instead. I won't say the "R" word.
    I agree with sugarcreekstuff they would enjoy some blades of grass. I have also been giving mine some grit.
    Can't wait to hear about the building of the coop.

  9. Hi Mellimaus, I've been off my laptop for most of the weekend, but just saw you've posted a tour of your henhouse on your blog. I can't wait to go look!! :-)

    Hi Gudl, do you think so? There's a heat lamp on the other side, too, so I don't know. I just know they're loving the pine shavings. :-)

    Hi sugarcreekstuff and twinville - yeah, I think you are right - it's time for the paper towels to be gone. But since my three sets of babies were all staggered in age, each by a day, I wanted to make sure that all chicks were at least 3 days old before I released them onto the shavings, lest they eat them (or so I'd read in all those damn books of mine). Tomorrow is the day I will remove the paper towels and they will be able to scratch to their heart's content! :-) Although, it will be harder to clean up after them, then.

    Hi farmer jen - thanks for being entertained by me and the girls. :-) This weekend has been so busy, but I've been wanting to comment on your last post. I'm heading over to your blog right when I'm finished writing this...

    Twinville, one more comment - just because we've started the coop, doesn't mean we're going to finish it any time soon. LOL. My husband does great work, but we take forever to decide how to do (and finish) things. :-)

  10. Hi goatgirl! How was Eugene? I'll bet a day with your son was just right for your heart! :-) Um, I'll bet those chicks of yours are cute. Sure would be nice to see them one of these days. LOL. I'm anxious to see what your Red Star looks like.

    So I'm confused about feeding them. I'd read that it's ok to give my chicks some live culture yogurt, to build the good bacteria in their tummies, but I was hesitating on any grass or lettuce until their little tummies were more developed. Is it really ok to give them this type of stuff at only 5 days old?

    The feed stores told me that no grit was necessary because everything they need is in their chick starter crumbles. So much conflicting info out there!

  11. Well farmgirl,
    I would love to send you a picture of my snaggletoothed Daisy Lu but sadly I'm new to this blogging thing and really don't know how!!
    I guess I'd better get with the times.

  12. I've given my older gals yogurt and they love it. A hard boiled egg yolk is good for babies, farmers used to do it before the crumbles came about. I only gave mine bits of green for a treat, not a meal and they attacked it. And some info for goatgirl, the red or black sex link chicks (stars)can't be roosters. I'm not sure how it works but all the males turn out white while the females have the color, so no worries for that breed.

  13. Farmgirl, it is ok for them to have a bit of this and that. If they were following their mom around the yard they would be eating all sorts of things. Remember, nature knows best. And Eugene was great. A beautiful day in Oregon:):) I sure missed my boy so it was wonderful to see him.

    Thanks sugarcreekstuff, Glad to hear that about my Red Star. She is a cutey. wouldn't want her to be an "R"

  14. Being somewhat 'talented' at watching the birds (after all, I did win Ari's contest), it is my belief that they think there are Peanuts buried in the wood shavings. This would explain why there is such a mad rush.

  15. I'm finally catching up with my favorite blogs, and you've been busy! I had to read what you'd written to my daughter. She wanted to know why I was giggling. I loved your house rules.


  16. Don't worry about feeding the peepers anything else but chick crumbles for now. We didn't and our chickies turned out fine.

    While it's true that chicks brooded by their mama hen would be able to peck at all sorts of things, with a fully formulated feed, it's not really necessary.

    That being said, we started giving our chicks grass clippings, crickets, meal worms, veggie scraps and grit around 3 weeks of age. That worked well for us.

    As a worried and concerned Chicken Mama, you've just got to decide what you're comfortable with. Your peepers will do just fine either way. :o)

    As for the coop, if you read my blog in the early days, you'll remember these facts about our hens:

    *Chicks arrived October 18th.
    *Started Building Hen House: Nov.21
    *Transferred pullets to large puppy yard in garage: Dec 18th
    *Completed HenHouse/Coop: Dec.25!!

    You can read more about our journey, with complete step-by-step photos of the coop/henhouse construction with this link:

    At least you're starting your henhouse before your chickies outgrow their brooder! haha!

  17. farmgirl, I just got word my Light Brahmas and Speckled Sussex will be here next week.
    OK sugarcreek stuff but I just read that the males are gold and the hens are brown as chicks and this one is gold so I am worried that I got a rooster instead. Is that true?

  18. Hi Farmgirl!
    I just stumbled onto your blog and am enjoying it tremendously. We too have recently moved (December)to the country (similar woodsy setting to yours) near Yosemite Ca.. I have been obsessing about chickens and will be getting our flock in April. I LOVE your library of books and am wondering if you can highly recommend any one or two specifically? I can't wait to hear how your coop construction goes because that is the one area I feel really loss... and also how to cage in the run area to prevent predators. I'm so excited to live vicariously through your experiences!

  19. I love your new babies!! Can't wait to see the new hen house when it's complete!!

  20. That is rather funny! I guess it is the chance to explore something new.

  21. They are just too cute. And they seem like they're learning to get along, too?

    PS-Their cheeps brought our brazen little rescue cat, Mouse, upstairs. She looked suspiciously hungry!

  22. Just thought I would mention that my 2 yr old has to look watch your chick videos at least twice a day. He loves them!

  23. Hi Farmgirl!

    You can tell the difference between an Ameraucana and Araucana by their rump. The Araucana's don't have one!

    We have "time out" areas for our chickens. If they get mean, they are separated immediately. Once they calm down they can either go back with the group or they are put in the guest quarters.

    Congratulations on Chicken Motherhood! You will love it!

  24. Hey everybody, Eve has her new blog set up and it's gorgeous. Be sure to take a look:

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - do you feed them plain yogurt or the fruity stuff?

    Hi pichinde/sarah - I love that it made you giggle. Your daughter probably thought you were nuts! I'm having such a good time with my "girls" - can you tell? :-)

    twinville - mealworms, huh? Interesting - we've been feeding those to Aidan's lizard for years...they're really kind of creepy! :-) I've been meaning to get over to your blog and read your older posts about your chicken adventures..thanks for the link, I will do this today! (and then tease you about it) :-)

    Hi kathryn & ari - good to know my blog is providing entertainment for the feline crowd, too! meow.

    frugalmom: Your comment this morning cracked me up about your son. This is the little cutie you posted the pic on that I told you he'd hold against you someday, right? :-) I'm going to take another video today and dedicate it to him. (I haven't been able to find his name on your blog - is this intentional?)

    Hi chicken mama - really good to hear from you! Yeah, none of my girls really has a rump, so, I'm pretty certain I've got Araucanas...

  25. Hi jennavar - Sorry that it's taken me so long to respond to your nice comment. Like you noticed, I've got many chicken books...but the one I use as my primary source is the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow. Very thorough and complete (though I did find an error (my first) the other evening. But, I'm always a girl for more info, especially when I'm completely new to something, so to back up what I read from Gail D. and to get other opinions, I turn to "Living with Chickens - Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock" by Jay Rossier (this one has some gorgeous color photos, too) and "Chickens in Your Backyard, A Beginner's Guide" by Rick and Gail Luttmann. Don't hesistate, though, to go to your local library and check out everything you can find on chickens. For one, it's fun and, two, you'll quickly determine what learning/book style works best for you.
    When are you setting your own blog up? Be sure to let me know - I will come and visit. -danni

  26. I normally just use the kids not really sure why. His name is Grayson. He has to say all day long,"chicken movie, chicken movie?" Mama, watch chicken movie?


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