Farm is going to the birds…

At the end of April, the Easter bunny brought 5 little chicks to our home. The little birds were about 1 week old. The kids were thrilled. They enjoyed cuddling with them, watching them chase insects, and scratching in the dirt. They named chicks Sir Pu Plot, Mrs Pu Plot, Patrick, P, and Noname (that is actually her name).   

The birds are Buff Orpingtons which are great egg layers.  Now the worm farm would have a flock of guard chickens to patrol the grounds and hopefully give us some eggs. Unfortunately, I did not get any good shots of the little guys when they were tiny. But here is a shot after a few weeks when we let them out in the back yard to test out the coop:   

Teenage chicken testing out the new coop


Since then, the flock has relocated to the farm and enjoys foraging for bugs and exploring the place. They have grown up considerably and are pretty fun to watch. We are expecting eggs any day now. It looks like a couple of the birds are starting to sit in the nest boxes. But no eggs yet.   

Foraging flock: Sir Pu Plot, Mrs Pu Plot, Patrick, P and Noname


Earlier on we though all were hens, but this guy seems to have a larger & more colorful comb than the others…could be a rooster.   

Sir Pu Plot.... male or female?


As you may have guessed the kids named most of the birds. They continue to take interest in them. They love to feeding them grubs and following them around. Here Sam is trailing behind the flock. He is determined to pet one… they just don’t seem to want to cooperate.   

Sam stalking the flock


 And finally the first egg has arrived!!!!! Below is a photo of the perfect little egg that one of the hens layed on Sept 16th. It is nicely shaped, just a little small. See it in comparison to a quarter. Not bad for the first egg. 

First egg from our chickens!!!!



Birds of Another Feather  

This spring while clearing some of the trees and building the coop I noticed a HUGE tick population. So we are working on clearing paths and areas to prevent them from hanging around the people spots. In addition, we are bringing in some reinforcements. These guys are lean, mean tick gobbling machines. I had never seen one before this year…but apparently, Guinea hens are the elite tick killing force.   

For those of you who don’t know about these birds, they originated from Africa. To me, when they are small they look like a chicken/vulture combined. But as they age, their plumage gets very pretty and they get bright markings on their head. Our little flock is Pearl Grey Guineas. They fly better than chickens and are very fast runners too. Good luck catching these little devils!  Guineas are supposedly much better at eliminating unwanted insect populations. They have very keen eyesight and roam around more so than chickens. They also scratch less and tear less of the foilage up. So they are less of a risk to your garden than chickens.   

Anyhow, I had been waiting since late spring to find some young guineas (called keets) withing an hours driving distance. Last week we took a family trip to Sanford to bring home 6 new family members. Right now they are still in the brooder, but soon they will be out on the farm too. See them below…they are spooked and in the corner of the brooder (camera shy):   

Guinea keets about 5 weeks old


So far, only one of the birds is named. Due to his very large size and neck he has been officially dubbed “Giraffe”. The others are awaiting a naming ceremony. Here is photo of Giraffe.   

Giraffe on top of brooder


I will continue to post pictures of them as they grow.

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