Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big doings.

Can I just say that baby chicks are a pain in the..............well, you know.
They are a lot of work.   I have had chickens in the past, but NEVER chicks.
One night I actually stayed over at the studio, so I could run out there every couple of hours to make sure the light was at the right height that they didn't freeze.
I had them in a huge metal water trough inside the chicken coop.  They are growing so fast, I think they were getting overcrowded.
The other day I noticed one little barred rock crouched down and not moving.
I picked her up to find that her neck was pecked and in rough shape.

 So I put her in a box by herself....with food and water.  I have fed her a little boiled egg, and while I was expecting to find her dead, she is actually doing much better.
But she wants out.
Chickens are social birds.  She doesn't like being alone.
So today, after two days of being in this box, I tried her in with the rest.  They immediately started pecking the back of her neck.

I fetched her out quickly.

Then I had a bit of a brain storm.   I went to the barn, where I had a bird cage hanging.....cleaned it out, put some shavings in it, some food and water, and put her in it.
As you can see, she can see them, and hear them, and while it may not be a perfect solution, it is the only one I could come up with for the time being.
I would love to hear any suggestions.

Oh, and I did take them out of the metal container, and put up this corrugated cardboard, so they wouldn't hide under the nesting boxes, where I couldn't keep a good eye on them.

I think they will be easier when they are grown.

Finally the kitchen construction is done.  And while I could have opted for the "Country Living" completely new kitchen, I am pretty happy with my old/new kitchen.  
It's perfect.

I have to get knobs for the cupboards, and the floor needs to be sanded and refinished around the new ones, where the bathroom used to be.

I love my old house, and it's important to me that any renovation I do feels right.

This does.

It's especially fun, when an idea that was brewing in my head, comes to fruition, and is even nicer than I expected it to be.

I'm not keeping you awake, am I Sydney???


Dizzy-Dick said...

I wonder if that chick will ever fit in or be low bird on the pecking order?

ktweaver said...

We have had that pecking problem with adult chickens and solved it by applying Vicks Vaporub to the neck of the pecking victim. Apparently the taste is so awful that the other chickens stopped pecking her. Had the problem twice; it worked both times.
The reconstruction looks great.

KarenInTheWoods said...

You have the greatest ideas!

The kitchen AND the chicken cage!

Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

Unknown said...

Kitchen looks great, lets in so much light. Glad to see Sydney again, I've missed her.

Hilary said...

They are too cute. A few googled pages seem to indicate that stress is the cause of pecking one another.

Another seemed to think that if the heat lamp has a red light, that could be a problem because the chicks will think they see blood, causing them to peck each other. There seems to be a lot of info out there.. some contradictory also, I'm sure.

The kitchen looks great.. the reno worked out so well. How nice to have an island instead of a bathroom in your kitchen. :)

And Sydney.. just gorgeous.

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

Kitchen looks great! I love your "loom house" and it is great to see Sydney! I have missed seeing the kitties!

Theresa said...

Oh my heavens! That kitchen looks awesome. Just perfect, like Sidney. ;)

Good luck with the chicks, long ago we decided fowl of any kind didn't have a place here on our small little ranch, but I know many folks who adore their chickens.

ladyoftheloom said...

The chickens are not my forte but I do know that some are meaner than others. My mom was raised on a farm and she told me. Not sure what to do about it.

Now, on the other hand, I know about knobs. If you like funky knobs and have a local Hobby Lobby *and* can overlook their politics then they have gorgeous ceramic artsy knobs.

Hello Sydney!

Tyche's Minder said...

That island is going to get so much use! And I am jealous of your lighting. Super nice.

I'm also struggling with an ostracized hen at the moment. I think she's going to have to have her own digs, but I might try that Vicks idea first.

WPgirl said...

Your kitchen looks marvelous!! check out for any chicken related information.
Lynda in Michigan

Daryl said...

got you some good advice and a few puns ... the reno looks awesome and doesn't change the ambiance at all .. fab ... and its so nice to see sydney

Anonymous said...

Separating the chick was a good idea. It might help if you put Blue Kote (you can buy this stuff at a farm store) spray it on the chick's neck where it is raw and spray the other chicks necks also - that way they all look the same and the pecking will stop.

Susan said...

Great solution - they will still be used to seeing each other. There is always a low bird on the totem pole, unfortunately. As much as I love chickens, they can be brutal. Your kitchen redo is fabulous! So clean, light and what a wonderful space. I think that's the best layout I've ever seen.

1horsetown said...

If reincarnation is don't want to come back as a chicken. Chickens eat anything--including each other.

There's some nasty goop called 'anti-pick lotion'. Probably won't find it locally, I order it from a hatchery. It's basically coal oil. It keeps them away from each other.

The kitchen is lovely.

Lee Anna said...

Hello Hilary,
I hope this blog:

will help answer some questions for you. seems to be full of information about keeping chickens, very knowledgeable.
Best to you,
Lee Anna

Kat said...

Your kitchen (and loom area) are beautiful! Such an inspirational area. My favorite two areas in the home - the kitchen & craft areas. On the chicken issue, whether little or full grown, I have always found Pine Tar to be the best medicine cabinet item to keep around in the barn. Whether a chicken gets injured, the others see blood and start picking on it or they provoke it themselves, a glob of pine tar put on your finger, then rubbed into the cut/injury instantly stops pecking and helps healing. I have had chickens injured by dogs and hawks before, as long as the injury is only at the skin, pine tar keeps the other chickens from picking on them and allows the injury to heal/grown new skin. I try not to separate them anymore than necessary (makes it more difficult to put them back together), using pine tar I rarely have to separate them.

MarthaVA said...

LOVE the kitchen! So much counter space!
Poor little chicky. I don't know anything about chicks, but I think your idea is genius! :)

Suzanne said...

The bird cage was nothing short of Brilliant! What a great idea. I love you new old kitchen. It's a great mix and so inviting.

thotlady said...

The kitchen looks amazing. Way to take care of the chicks!

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