At the beginning of last winter we bought Rufus his first kennel, thinking it might survive better than all the different outdoor beds we have bought him that he chewed a hole in and gutted. And… it has… more or less. Well – the less part is certainly true. As the destruction halted once he’d removed a full side of the entrance.  We have dubbed his behaviour ‘renovating’ the kennel, and he certainly seems happier with it this way with it’s new and enhanced wide front entrance.

Chewing in Rufus’ case is not just a puppy thing. It’s a way of being.

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Chippie has grown into a lovely looking rooster and has a quiet temperament.

Nutmeg is a gorgeous coloured girl and quite friendly.

 

 

Rufus recovering from paralysis tick Having found a paralysis tick on Rufus last Sunday evening, and having a very stressful week of worry, my darling Rufulus is now home again and been taking advantage of some quality couch time.  Keeping this energiser-puppy quiet for the next few weeks will be a challenge… the sleepy puppy state doesn’t last long.

Wellies, 2wks old The chicks previously believed to be Welsummers (and turned out not to be….!) are growing slowly but steadily.  They are no where near as hardy as the Araucana’s to hand rear and I lost one chick on day 4 to sudden illness. This was incredibly sad and I have been worrying about the rest of them ever since, but they’re doing ok. As chicks they have been very flighty and easily spooked, demonstrating what is meant by “You’re just chicken” very well.

Mister Kelloggs
Welsummer pulletThe roosties comb was the first to start showing, and much bigger than the girls. It seems like (from a very small sample) that Welsummers would be easy to sex as they grow, but maybe it’s easier because I already know he’s a rooster! Also, as they get older and their chest feathers start to grow, his are noticeably different as they are dark brown/black in colour and the girls are reddish brown.

Last weekend they moved outside to live like real chooken’s in the new chicken tractor.  Having them co-habitate with Chippie, Nutmeg and Casper was too stressful.  Chippie kept asserting his/her dominance and the poor Wellies were not sure how to take it…  Soooo, the ara’s were kicked out into the main coop (separated from the main flock) so the Welsummers could live in peace for a little longer.

Wellies, 5 wks old

We’re going to need a third run out there though… I can see it now…  so I have not reset the incubator again… four lots of chicks is enough at one time.

Rufus & Sasha

Rufus trying hard to get engagement

Rufus defeated but still hopeful

new brooderDad-dad has been busy in the last few weeks making room for more chickens. With two hatches of Araucana and a third bunch on the way, broody hens in the coop (yes… Houdini and Pippi are acting very determindly broody), and the new Welsummers, there is potential for there to be not enough room for all these babies!  Dad-dad has not banned mum-mum from further incubation yet… but that can’t be too far away. Sooty and Eva are enjoying their new cat-proof broody box that is sitting on dad’s desk.  It’s a good temporary home while Dad-dad finishes the chicken-tractor for the ‘teenagers’ to move into, freeing up the broody palace again.

Nutmeg, Casper and Chippie had to live in the shower recess in the spare bathroom for five days, which became a stinky incentive for Dad-dad (who uses that bathroom every morning for a quiet contemplation on life) to finish the tractor started  in January of this year (isn’t mum-mum clever… :-)).

The teenage tractor is now pretty much finished… and fabulous!

tractor

Only needs a few finishing touches and all done; the water will be hung off the ground on a chain so height can be adjusted with the growing flock, and the roof is yet to be attached.  The food has been hung under cover so that it’s protected from the weather.

tractor from front

Nutmeg (pictured below) is growing out to be a gorgeous girl (well, we hope girl) and has amazing colouring.

Nutmeg, 6 weeks old

Chippie (pictured below) we suspect is a boy… but would be happy to  be wrong.  While you can’t see it in this photo, s/he has some reddish colouring on the comb, which can be a sign in Araucana at this age of roosterness.  Time will tell though…

Chippie, 6 weeks on

Casper is most shy and protests loudly when handled (sounds like she’s screaming at you) so did not perform well on today’s camera-shoot, but there is always another day.

Rufus' chicken

What do you and Chicken like doing together? Laps of the house at top speed, jumping leg hurdles, with Chicken riding in my mouth.  What makes this activity even better? Chicken squeaking as we run along… or Dad-dad throwing Chicken down the hallway first.

What are Chicken’s best attributes? His squeaker, and his head tuft (although I have kinda pulled this all but out now…). Oooh!  And how his wings flap when I shake him about!

What makes him a great friend? His loyalty – he’s always there when I come inside to play; and his quiet poise in battle – when we play rough, no matter what we do he always holds himself together.

Ginger Ginger was the much beloved pet of Bec, Tony and Malcolm.  She was head chook at her place, LOVED meal worms (… right to the end), and lay lovely green eggs that would have made Dr Seuss proud indeed (especially with her beautiful red feathers and those incredible whiskers!)Ginger, 6 days old

Ginger was the cutest of chicks, looking like a ginger puff ball.  She and Fatso were hatched from the brown eggs of my commercial brown and black layers who were living with my two Araucana roosters.  Ginger was from my very first set of hatchlings, and when Bec came to buy some Araucana chicks she was so taken with Ginger that it was only right that she go home with her.family

I always knew Ginger was a cutie, but didn’t realise she’d grow out to be such a handsome girl!  You can tell from her picture that she was ALL personality.

I am sure she very much missed about the coop… except by whatever chook has taken over as head girl now :-).

Ginger, 4wks old

I also know she led the most privileged of lives that a chicken could possibly have…

Thank you Bec for giving Ginger such a good life, and don’t be too sad. xo

just out

Hatch 3 S2

Very tired little bubba’s still… just out of incubator a few hours. And if I had to make a bet, based on behaviour I would say Sooty is going to be a rooster… and Eva a hen. Sooty is the first to come and investigate when a hand enters the brooder; his instinct is definitely to peck first, ask questions later.

Welsummer chicks, 1 day oldThese five little darlings were sold to me as Welsummer chicks, which is a breed I have wanted for ages.  I was so excited to get chicks finally after lots of looking around for them.

There are four girls and one roostie (see right, with white mark on his head) in this bunch of day old chicks.

They are supposed to eventually lay lovely brown eggs for dad-dad’s breakfast.   Can’t wait to see them grow up 🙂

UPDATE (January 2012) – Many months later when these chicks are all grown and the rooster is crowing, I find a white egg and not a brown egg in the nest box.  I was gutted and turned to my trusty forum friends for assistance and soon found out that what I have been sold were Brown Leghorn’s, and not Welsummers….

I was devastated and very frustrated with the many months wasted on feeding these interlopers (grrr!!).  This among other things stopped me writing in this blog.  It’s taken many years to come back and update this entry. However, I did later got some Welsummers, but that’s a different story for another day.

day-old-ara-31

About us

We are a bunch of araucana chicks growing up in Brisbane, Australia. We have a dedicated human family:- There's mum-mum and dad-dad, a cat named Sasha, and most recently a puppy they call Rufus... as well as an extended family of other chooks. Mum-mum has hand reared us in a broody palace that dad built us, but eventually as we get bigger... we make our way into the big outside world.

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