It’s time for Licorice to be with the hens and Buttercup (our rooster). The hens seem interested but Buttercup keeps charging/chasing my sweet little chick. I figure there’s something I’m doing wrong to introduce the chick to the rest of the flock (three chickens).
Before today I had Licorice in the coop with the rest of the chickens but she was in the elevated hen house alone. To help everyone get used to each other I put a wall of hardware cloth in the middle of the little hen house so the hens and Buttercup can sleep in the same area as Licorice and get used to each other.
I left the area so everyone can get used to the new setup and when I got back, this is what I found:
We knew our chick Licorice was pretty great but didn’t know she had her own national holiday! That’s right, today is National Licorice Day! I didn’t even know until Elayne from Annie’s Annuals mentioned it this morning (she’s also the one who came up with the name). In honor of Licorice’s big day I made her a crown – she was still attacking it when I left.
Well, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a couple chicks to add to my flock. I currently have two hens and a rooster but originally planned on having four hens. Both my chicks last year turned out to be roosters so we sent one to my mom’s farm so he could crow his little heart out! (He was loud.)
Just last night I picked up two chicks at our local feed store. One black one and a white one – both Silkies.
Once we got the chicks home we put them in our little homemade brooder with water, food, straw/shavings and a heat lamp. Our brooder consists of a clear plastic bin with a wire hardware cloth lid. First we showed the chicks how to drink water (and helped them drink some) and where their food was. Since these guys are a little small, I put about half their special chick food in the blender to make sure it was small enough to eat.
Unfortunately, even with all our precautions, the white one (a little runt) didn’t make it through the night. We learned a valuable lesson about picking smaller chicks just because they’re cute. We’ve decided not to replace the chick since we have a small yard and may need to get another chick a couple years down the road and don’t need too many chickens all at once. We really got two so they’d have company.
Since we already have Silkies we’ll probably introduce the chick to our hens once she’s big enough to withstand a little cold. They do snuggle up already so the chick will be fine outside in two-three weeks. This is what we did with our last chicks – the hens loved them and protected them instantly.
So, without further ado. Here’s my new black Silkie:
She doesn't have a name yet, but isn't she cute!
She's trying to figure out what I'm doing.
Our brooder with a large rock on top to keep the cats away.
Since we have two kittens we’ve also placed the brooder in the bathroom so we can close the door and keep them out. This also keeps our chick a little warmer.
Garden Books I LOVE:
FREE-RANGE CHICKEN GARDENS. I have the pleasure of being included in Jessi Bloom's beautiful book (pages 27, 51 upper left, 112, 114-117). Check it out!
THE NEW LOW MAINTENANCE GARDEN. This book by Val Easton is one of my favorite design books.
WICKED PLANTS: Great read about poisonous plants by Amy Stewart.
THE VEGETABLE GARDENER'S BIBLE. My favorite vegetable garden reference book by Edward C. Smith.
GROW. COOK. EAT. by Willi Galloway is a beautiful vegetable garden cookbook. Great recipes and tips on eating ALL parts of the veggie - not just the mainstream parts.