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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

chicks no more

araucana eggs

First eggs

They are chicks no more…  In their case we know what came first; it was the egg, not the chickens who now stand before you.  As a proud mum-mum, I am very pleased to tell you these girls have hit their egg-laying status in the flock and are laying some lovely blue-green eggs of their own.  Despite a very mild winter, the girls engaged in an extended period of free-loading and started laying after 7 looooooong months.  Of all the chicks hatched last season, there are only seven new egg layers in total. Thankfully most are laying blue eggs, but there are one of two olive green eggs in each daily clutch.

Fatso lays the greenest egg of them all, but she’s got so much personality that I can’t bear to part with her.  She is still the fastest chook of the bunch, and has a quick eye for tasty morsels – especially bugs.

Of Hatch Three, only one chicken has lived a full life. These chicks must have been inspired by Houdini as they were forever finding a way out of the coop.  “The Houdini’s” one by one disappeared, until there was only one (pictured above – standing in the middle).

Fffi’s bubba, Casper, also came to a tragic end when the coop flooded during one of Qld’s unseasonal and freakish storms…. and Mr Fox got Splinty just before he was old enough to crow his very first crow.  This made me very sad. As Splinty was so proud of telling you, he was most definitely my favorite, and he was growing into one handsome man.  His brothers, two black araucana’s, grew out into lovely boys and found good homes locally.  They now have their own flocks of girls to fuss over.

freerangingOf course the girls just love free-ranging.  They don’t get out as often as they used to because Mr Fox seemed to think that every few weeks he deserved a nice tasty meal of chicken.  He hasn’t had success for many months now, and the girls enjoy their roam whenever they get the chance.  Their only other problem is Rufus.  Even on a chain he’s learning how to stalk them – lucky they are just as fast on their feet as he is.

And it’s all about to begin again!  The incubator is running and has at least 5 little chicks growing inside the eggs.  18 September is the predicted hatch day…. can’t wait.

splinty-15wks

Hey there!  Me Splinty again.  Mum-mum finds it hard to photograph me now I’m all grown up, so I haven’t featured lately in this ol’ blog… BUT I’m still here getting around the yard as fast as a road runner.  That’s wot mum-mum thinks we young cockerels look like – roadrunners!  Hmmpph!  She’s not sure if a few of my hatchlings are also girls or boys, she’s thinking there’s at least one more roostie amongst us.  

Did you see my lovely sickle feathers coming in on my saddle?  And my crest is growing in nicely too… Yep, I’m going to be another pretty boy in this yard.  Might have to challenge Roostie or Pedro to a dual soon – not sure about Roostie’s spurs though… am keeping clear of them for now. Maybe a crow off first might be the way to go.  Not that I’m crowing just yet… saving that up for now.  Don’t worry – am sure you’ll here about ihere first!

As I’m mum-mum’s favorite she’s not going to give me away though… well, that’s what I’m hearing anyway – she’s going to get dad-dad to build me my own cage and run!  Cool hey?  And ’cause dad-day loves me too, he’s going to build it. He hee!! Lucky Splinty.

Tracking the development of a splash-coloured araucana chick.

Splinty, day old chick

Splinty, day old chick

splinted-chick

Splinty with his fabled splint

Testing out the new wing feathers, one week old

Testing out the new wing feathers, one week old

Splinty, two weeks old

Splinty, 2 weeks old

Splinty, 3 weeks old

Splinty, 3 weeks old

Splinty hanging out on Dad-dad's desk

Splinty hanging out on Dad-dad's desk

splinty-4wks

Free-ranging at 4 weeks

Splinty at 5 weeks

Splinty at 5 weeks

Splinty, 7 weeks old

Splinty, 7 weeks old

Splinty, 10 weeks old

Splinty, 10 weeks old

Splinty, 15 weeks

Splinty, 15 weeks

Splinty, 19 weeks old

Splinty, 19 weeks old

Beautiful Splinty, 21 weeks old

Beautiful Splinty, 21 weeks old

5-weeks-old

Well, mum-mum had to give up on Dad and all his plans to build us our teenage chicken tractor.  We were getting too squashed up in the ol’ brooder box now we’re five weeks old, so mum-mum has put us into the “big girls” pen and put all the big girls and roosters together for awhile.  In the mean-time, I’ve heard Dad-dad ban mum-mum from any more “incubating” until he can catch up with the building.  She has eight (!) other chicks I’ve heard dad say.  Gee… she’s replaced us already!  First she starts selling us off, and now she’s hatchin’ others.

We’ve been in this new home for two sleeps now.  We have been very confused at night about where to sleep and mum-mum has had to come and settle us all down in the brooder box that dad had just cleaned out for the new chicks.  Well…  they CAN’T have IT yet….  ’cause  we still need it!  But, anyway… today we all might have figured out what mum-mum has been trying to tell us for two nights now… we can roost like proper grown up chook-chooks :-).  We tried it out today and mum-mum was very impressed with us.  We even figured out what this ramp is for, but it’s actually pretty easy for us to fly up there all by ourselves.

Oh!  And yesterday… completely forgot to tell you!  Guess wot??  Mum-mum sold more of us off again!  She sold Ginger and one of the blue chicks (mum-mum’s pretty sure they aren’t bros after all)…. but their new mum-mum seemed actually quite nice.  Mum-mum even introduced me to her and ‘Superbec’ said she’d look after Ginger for me so I guess that is ok.  Plenty of chicks around here for me anyway…

And ALL of this actually proves me right again. I, Splinty, am of course still mum-mum’s favouite (even though those who are betting that I’m a rooster are looking more and more spot on the money by every passing day).  Poor old mum-mum… bet she’s wondering how she can keep another rooster around here!!

4-wks-old

Mum-mum decided that today she was going to open the “worm-gate” and really and truly let us out of the brooder!  We’ve been a bit cramped because someone  *eyeroll*  (hint – he refers to poor mum-mum as a NAG, which is so untrue and VERY unkind…) has not built our adolescent quarters yet…  despite many promises and excuses over the last week…

freerangingIt was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time being allowed out and about.  We’d scuttle out and eat grass… and pick at things… and then someone would get a fright and jump vertically in the air (totally clearing the brooder…), and screech! Then we’d all burn rubber back into our safe broody box for awhile (about 20 seconds, actually) and then we’d all go and do it again.

Of course, I actually wasn’t scared at all.  I thought it was pretty cool…  I was pretty cool actually, and got a good strut going.  I did a full lap of the brooder – it was fine.  

Ginger, 4wks old

Ginger, 4wks old

It’s not like mum-mum wasn’t there the whole time and if we (erhmm… *cough*) the others freaked out she’d just call to us and we’d run to her and see the worm-gate and climb back inside. Ginger was pretty cool with it all too – she’s one classy chick, even though she’s a cross-breed – it’s the legs I think that do it for me, she’s just so leggy and poised….

Mum-mum took my photo again for all my cyber-fans…  Guess wot?? I’m a month old now.

Anyway, catch ya.

splinty-4wks

Splinty

Sticky

Introducing Sticky

Well, this week’s big news is that we’re all growing tufts on our heads and are looking pretty kooky.  Dad can’t believe how BIG we’re getting. We’re almost four weeks old too so mum-mum is hoping she might be able to tell which of us are boys and girls soon.  She still has absolutely no clues.  Poor mum-mum.

We’ve like quadrupled in size – maybe even more.  Our legs are getting to be thick and long, and we’re getting bald patches as our feathers grow and our baby fluff falls out….  we’re not chicks anymore, that’s for sure.  

splinty-on-desk

Splinty sings to Dad-dad

Check out Splinty’s legs in the photo below.  He was chiruping his guts out when mum-mumput him on dad’s desk.  He is one loud chicken.  I was too scared to let go of mum-mum when she brought me inside – so she’s called me ‘Sticky’.  We blue’s bro’shave been hard to tell apart (other than Speedy) so she hasn’t gotten around to naming us all.  It’s nice to have a name now, even if it mocks me about my natural anxieties.  I’m not like Splinty who can be bought off with a few mealies!

Dad-dad’s supposed to be starting our new coop today – he’s got to get it done this weekend… these baby quarters are getting a bit too cosy and we need more room to run around. When mum-mum lifts the lid off the brooder these days – half of us launch ourselves onto the top lip.  Well, as the saying says… the early bird gets the worm.  Around here you have to be the early bird if you’ve going to get anything with ol’ Fatso around.

Anyway, its been nice talking to you.  See you later. Sticky.

brooder

Check out our brooder sitting on grass… quite a different view out here on dad-dad’s prized lawn. even though dad hasn’t lived in NZ since he was an apprentice, he still dreams of great green expanses of  . . .  g r a s s .   He just loves the stuff.  And I mean, grass, literally.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain here in Qld of late and the grass has turned green again, without Dad having to water it either.

splinty-3.5wks-old

Do you like our new perches?  Mum-mum installed them this week while dad-dad was sick.  We think they’re pretty great too- but we still like to huddle under the heat lamp at night.  Yep, that’s me Splinty at the front of the cage there.  Not moving from the front line while mum-mum’s in sight.  Never know when she might bring us some treats…. worms, corn on the cob…. mmmm…. zucchini’s not bad either.

Mum-mum brought me inside for a photoshoot on Dad’s desk this week and she fed me tons of mealie worms… they were great.  I rewarded mum-mum with some lovin’ too – now she really LOVES me.  Dad-dad asked today what would she do if I turned out to be a rooster and she said “We can’t get rid of Splinty!!”  Lol – that’s good news for me.  My cunning plan has worked.

Pippi, 3-weeks-old

Hi I’m Pippi.  Today is my 3-week birthday.  My brothers and sisters and I are wondering what mum-mum has in store for us today, surely just moving us outside and installing a few new perches isn’t it???  We like the perches, sure, and they are cool to hang out on and stuff (the high perch is THE place to be seen, by the way) but surely we should be getting a supa serve of mealie worms for our birthday, right??

You might be wondering why I’ve not been featured in this blog more to date?  Well, I’m a bit shy, and unlike the others I don’t go bolting off to scramble all over mum-mum when she comes to talk to us.   Mum-mum has taken my photo before (under sufference I let her) but i’ve not been easy to photograph evidently…  today mum-mum was determined because she’s starting to speculate about what colours we will be when we grow up.  Mum-mum was hoping I might be ‘lavender’ but she’s just found out that me being lavender is probably a genetic long-shot, and that I’m more likely to be a pale blue or splash coloured bird.  Don’t ask me!  We chickens don’t have any greater insight into our genetic makeup than you homos… (homo-sapiens!  don’t you speak teen?)

Anyway – have to fly now. Bye bye…

Mum-mum sold two us!  Yes, I can’t believe it either.  I thought she LOVED us!! Ok, so she hadn’t given us all names yet, but that’s hardly cause for alarm. I can’t believe she did that.  She sold one of the blue’s brothers (or sisters??). There were five of us and now there are only four.  I know we’re getting bigger and have become a little stinky… and loud…. and perhaps not quite as adorable as we were straight out of the egg…. but hey!  Selling some of us was really uncalled for!  

That’s me on the left of the group, yep ‘speedily’ looking for an exit.  Bub’s not with us in this pic – he’s the baby of the group, last hatched and the runt of the flock. Bub-bub always tries avoid getting picked up .  

the Blues Brothers

the Blues Brothers

You might be wondering who else got sold?  The chick (formerly known as Elvis) with the weird head gear.  Elvis had attitude (or at least feathers with attitude!) and while’s s/he’s an attractive lookin’ ara, mum-mum was ok with Elvis… leaving the brooder.

Oh, and don’t panic – Splinty and Fatso and Ginger and Flippy are all still here…  Seems she still loves some of us.

Bye for now…  Speedy.

Speedy,-almost-3-wks-old

Speedy

Elvis has left the brooder!

Elvis has left the brooder

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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