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Monday, February 23, 2009

6 weeks old



While Decembery tempests blasted Nature outside the barn, inside the coop a Partridge Cochin hen insisted at eight months that she was ready for motherhood. She kept stomping her foot at Don whenever he would pick her up and set her down off the eggs she'd find and set on. "Ok ok," he finally relented and swooped Broody and her adoptees up and nestled them into the brooding box. With the wind banging bare lilac branches against the window, she sat there steadfast under the warm lights on those eggs, and on the 20th day seven of them hatched. They survived and grew and grew. These are the first hatch from eggs laid by our own Green Barn hens in their first year of life.

This week the chicks are six weeks old. For all we know, there are seven mothers of the seven chicks, and Broody the brooder may not even be one of them. We do know Khan is the proud papa.

Here you see two shots of the same six-week-old chick on the occasion we invited her/him/it into the house for a photo op. We won't discover its sex until certain leg and head features develop. Don't ask me what those features are, I'm just la-di-da-ing like Lisa here on Green Acres. Don is the expoit (read farmer, farmhand and farmer's wife). The highlights of these gorgeous days-old feathers look quite different under the lamplight shining on the ottoman, compared to the natural light from the window.

Look, all this from an egg.



75 comments:

Nautankey said...

He/She looks nice with all those grey feathers.And when I see where we come from,the chick from egg ceases to surprise me :-)

VioletSky said...

Lisa?
Can I see your closet?

As long as you are not Lucy!! Don't tell Don what Little Ricky did with his chickens in the den.

Ruth said...

Nautankey, every couple of days these little guys change. If you click on all the links to see their growth, they don't look like they could be the same beings.

And where do we come from?

Ruth said...

Sanna, there are some dissimilarities, I grant you, between Lisa and me.

I keep scouring my brain for a trace of Lucy, Ricky and the den. Wha?

kanmuri said...

Cute chicks!

J and Z said...

okay that would be a pet at our house....soooo cute and vulnerable....Kahn is beautiful!! is that him in your header? i love your header..

VioletSky said...

Too bad, Lisa had some great clothes and jewellery!

I've sent you a link to the I Love Lucy episode where the chickens are in the house and escape and hilarity ensues and Spanish is spoken and Lucy has some 'spainin to do'.

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth awesome shots, it is a miracle that they came from an egg, so cute!!

California Girl said...

They do grow quickly! We had chickens when I was a child. Even though I grew up in a Los Angeles suburb, my father wanted us to have chickens and a horse. My mother balked at the horse, flies & all, tho' our neighbors had them. Our chickens were Banties. I don't know if that is spelled correctly or even a type. That is what my father said they were. Very decorative & not very big. We had one rooster, Henry, and five hens. I only remember the names of two hens: Henrietta & Fluff. It seemed each winter, a So Cal winter to be sure but still cold, chicks would hatch and my brother and I would be dispatched to the chicken coop to keep them warm and safe til they were strong enough to survive on their own. We had fresh eggs all the time. it was great. I really get a kick out of your chicken stories & photographs.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh look... a Teenager!

Peter said...

"It" really looks nice! Maybe even better in the natural light! You must be proud "parents"!!

Kass said...

What beautiful pictures- and what a Miracle life is - from an egg to this..

Sharon said...

Wonderful post Ruth. I may never eat chicken again! :)

Susan said...

Looks like a boy to me! Khan may have some future competition on his hands. Feet. Whatever. Love the close-up.

rauf said...

Ruth, they are ready to face the world.
They are gaining knowledge, prolly graduate in a couple of months before they start teaching.

i want to know how Cochin came in to this chicken business.

Ruth said...

Kanmuri, six of them look like this fella, one is blonde.

Ruth said...

Hi, Jean, this one cooperated beautifully, didn't poo in the house at all in 5 minutes with us.

Yes, that's Khan the Magnificent in my header, good eye! He is so good at his job ruling the roost. Well occasionally Don has to remind him that he can't lord it over him.

Ruth said...

Sanna, if I had the number of clothes and jewelry Lisa had, I'd have to have an outdoor closet like hers.

Thank you for the I Love Lucy episode! Man, my brain is dying I'm afraid. I mean seeing "Lucy" and "Ricky" together didn't even click. Jeez.

That sounded like one of those beautifully chaotic episodes that would have you rolling by the end. What a great combination those characters were.

Ruth said...

Hi there, Bob, thank you. I think Gwen is right, they're teenagers right about now.

Loring Wirbel said...

At least in this case, you don't see a lot of clamoring about octuplets, the ethics of motherhood, in-vitro fertilization, etc. I have this vision of all the penitentes coming to see the image-on-the-bread and ending up protesting the condition of mother hen's brooding. Would make a great comedy!

Ruth said...

California Girl, you know this is all the rage again now: backyard chickens. Some communities have rules against it, but those are changing. People like raising their own eggs and chickens.

Yes, Don had bantams (Japanese Bantams), and they were gorgeous, small, and roosters, very feisty and ended up trying to rule the roost. So Don gave them to another chicken raiser.

You can see a photo of one of them at my flickr site here.

Ruth said...

Gwen, those goofy big feet!

Ruth said...

Peter, if you had seen Don and me in the brooding room when the first chick hatched, you'd have thought we were in the hospital with our first grandchild.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kass, ongoing Life is impossible to fathom. Look at those little feathers that have started to grow. All that was in the egg.

Ruth said...

Hi, Sharon! I am becoming more 'farmy' - getting used to the realities of eating what we grow. Now, I feel grossed out by food we know nothing about from the store that's over-processed and chemicalized. But I hear you, it's pretty sweet.

Ruth said...

Susie Q, you may be right. Don will likely not keep any roos, so no danger that Khan will lose his magnificence.

♥ Kathy said...

Aww how awesome! I love animals!

Ruth said...

rauf ji (I learned that from your commenters, is it right?), Don will move these teenagers down into a sequestered area of the main coop maybe this week. 30 new eggs are hatching in his classroom as I write, have to make room for them in the brooding box.

I am reading about Cochin chickens at wiki:

- originally known as Chinese Shanghai breed, originally bred in China

- exported to Britain and U.S. in 1800s

- "The name Cochin came from its original Chinese name 九斤黄(in pinyin: jiujin huang, pronounced joo-chin hwong), meaning nine jin yellow, where jin is a traditional Chinese measurement of weight"

Ruth said...

Right-o, Loring! Almost daily I think I should start a comic strip. There are just too many possibilities, it's a crime not too. It could be a stand-alone blog. Hmm, will consider this. As if I'm not blogging enough already.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, I am learning to love them. I grew up in a house where pets were not allowed. My poor dad didn't like 'em. Don is helping me learn to love them.

Sandy said...

OMG may I have your permission to draw that bottom photo! Loved the post...

Ruth said...

Aunty Sandy, mais biensur!

Yes yes, I hope you will paint the little guy on my post! You don't ever have to ask. If you do it, let me know, and I'll ask if I can post it in my sidebar gallery.

dutchbaby said...

I can see you are a proud Mama; who could blame you? I love chickens, wish we were allowed to have them here. It would be so great to have fresh eggs all the time. I'm so glad your Broody had a chance to, well, brood.

Congratulations!

Anet said...

What a cutie! That face is just adorable:)

Babs (Beetle) said...

That's so sweet :O)

shicat said...

peep,peep...How do the babies stay warm? Are they still under the lights or are you keeping them in the kitchen ? My grandma had a rooster in her house. I remember going to visit her and seeing a rooster walking around her kitchen.I don't know why, how crazy is that? I really shouldn't be surprised, my grandmother was a mother of ten children. She had them one at a time the old fashioned way. I'm surprised she didn't lose her mind, hey wait a minute, maybe that's why she had a rooster in the kitchen!

freefalling said...

Well, I must say, I have never really studied the intricacies of a chook's eye.
They are really detailed.
And disconcertingly human like.
His downturned beak makes him look a bit mean, though.

ds said...

Love the story of the "surrogate" hen! How is she behaving now that the humans have taken over? I admire your--and your husband's--delicacy and patience with the chicks. My grandparents kept chickens; to this day my mother will have nothing to do with them!

Bel.Ishtar said...

This post made me break out in a grin! Thank you for making my day.

Sandy said...

Hi Ruth, thanks so much for being generous with your photos! There's so many of them that eventually I want to try for practice.

I painted her last night and posted her this morning. Thanks...There's so many more of your "babies" that I want to do some day.

Ruth said...

Haylo, Dutchbaby. Fresh eggs are among the bestest delicacies if you ask me. I love them visually too, with their orange yolks. Wish you could have them.

Ruth said...

Anet, it could be a pet, don't you think? But how to keep it from poo-ing?

Ruth said...

Sweet like you, Babs.

Ruth said...

Cathy! What an image! I told Don about that last night, and he asked what she did about the poo?? Maybe I shouldn't ask a rational question.

The chicks are still under lights in the brooding box. But with seven at this size, they are getting crowded. So Don will be moving them down into a sequestered area in the coop. There will be a heat lamp to keep them warm there too. Strange to think about them moving into the coop. But Don needs to make way for 20+ more chicks he's moving from his incubator at school. :|

Ruth said...

Letty, I worked and worked on this photo so you could see the very point of its beak. But the lighting just didn't allow it. I am fascinated by the eyes too, thanks for noticing.

Ruth said...

DS, great question. I asked the same thing, and Don said the first day she was pretty grouchy. But now she has blended in with the other hens just fine. Maybe she's forgotten all about her brood. It will be interesting to watch her when Don brings the chicks down into the coop. Maybe I can get a photo of her looking through the fence into their area.

Ruth said...

I'm glad, Bel.Ishtar, I'm glad.

Ruth said...

Aunty Sandy, are you kidding me? It's you who are generous with your paintings. This latest is soft and glorious, and you caught that eye as focal point perfectly. I have added your chick portrait to my sidebar gallery.

THANK YOU!

Oliag said...

Your photographs of these cute chicks are just stunning - and so perfectly exposed and focused...I don't imagine the chicks stand still for you either!

Now you have gone and made me want to raise some chickens...or better yet to get my husband to raise some chickens!

John harris said...

Every cock crows on their garbage goes. Turkish Proverb


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MAXIMUS said...

Very nice pictures!!! I was given two cute chicks many years ago which I raised in my flat in Athens! During holidays we took them to our cottage. We spent the summer all together. They worshipped me! They used to sleep in my arms. In September I had to return to the city and they had been huge and very noisy! My parents convinced me to give them to our neighbours. I visited them every single weekend. Some day I was told that they had been given "away". I was devastated. Years later, our neighbours told me the truth. They had cooked and eaten both with pasta and tomato sauce!!!

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, I don't know what my grandma did about the rooster poop? I will have to ask my brother and sister. I believe she only kept the chicken( that's probably what it was not a rooster) for a short while. Gee, I hope it wasn't Sunday dinner. Love the birds on the side of the blog great names:)

MAXIMUS said...

Me, again. If you want, you are welcome to write a wish for yourself in my list (my blog). The title means "I want to" and I have listed famous or unknown people's wishes about their own lives...taken from blogs, magazines or newspapers.

Ruth said...

Oliag, ha! well this little fella did stand very still, but you're right, they usually don't!

You have discovered the secret, shhh. Make your husband raise them.

Ruth said...

Hi, John, welcome.

I am trying to interpret the proverb, will keep working on it.

Ruth said...

Wha? MAXIMUS, chicken pets? Don had told me that hens can get very cuddly if you are affectionate with them. Now I hear it from a real person. But what did you do about the poo?

It's totally normal to eat chicken, it's one of my favorite foods, but I'm sorry you had to hear about your pets being eaten!

Ruth said...

Cathy, some hens look like roosters. If I hadn't been educated by the farmer man, I would have thought some of our hens were roos.

Ah, these dear friends on the sidebar! Honey is such a sweetheart. Khan is magnificent. Now Floozie, she is the biggest snoop, has her nose in everywhere. Don't try doing anything secret around her, she'll be up in your face.

MAXIMUS said...

My visitors do not know if I am a woman or a man. That's why I am answering here. Thank you for the compliment of course, but if those legs were mine, I would be an Oscar nominee walking the red carpet! It is a painting by Vettriano, which I like because of the bohemian lifestyle it portrays!

Thank you for your participation and yes that was the right page. I have included your wishes.

As far as the chickens are concerned, they used to sleep in the pocket of my bathrobe as I was watching TV or studying. Then I bought a big cage but most of the time they were on the floor. I had dettol tissues to clean up the mess! It was after Easter so we had already removed our carpets. They ran from the corner with their wings wide open and jump into my arms to hide their heads in my armpits in order to sleep as they used to when they were little. Unconditional and unexpected love, which I'll never forget!

Ruth said...

Thanks, MAXIMUS, so glad you came back to answer.

It still isn't clear if you are a man or woman! :) I am guessing woman, but I've been wrong before. Kind of like this chick - we can't tell the sex yet. The legs painting looks like a photo, wow.

Ah, the way you describe the chicken pets snuggling with you is like nothing I've heard.

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California Girl said...

thanks for sending me to the flickr page. your white rooster does look like Henry although Henry was very colorful. thanks for clarification on the name "bantam". Henry was one feisty fellow. He outlasted all the hens. My dad gave up on the chickens after he brought home a new dog, an airedale, Daisy. There wasn't enough room in the backyard world for her and chickens. Coincidentally, I wrote about her & the chickens not long ago: http://emptynestevolution.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-dog-daisy.html

dutchbaby said...

Believe me, I wish I could have your fresh eggs too! One of the great disappointments about coming to America was eating the tasteless pale-yellow-yolked eggs. The yolks in Amsterdam were orange and very flavorful!

MAXIMUS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esther Garvi said...

I can never say no thank you to a cup of coffee! :-)
I loved the tenderness of this post. Makes me wish I had chickens!
Greetings from West Africa,
Esther

mystic rose said...

:)

Ruth said...

Hi, California Girl. I confess the Bantams were the feistiest pair we've had yet. They're gone now to another owner. But their small size did not prevent them trying to mount every hen in the coop!

Daisy's a beaut!

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, I'm convinced that our sorry eggs also produce second-rate pastries. No wonder Americans go nuts over European ones.

Ruth said...

Esther, thank you for crossing the sea to greet me! I see your mother's sea portrait in my mind as I write that. Just beautiful.

Ruth said...

Mystic, hello. Your smiley face is welcome to some tea.

Peter said...

Awesome pictures! I like your photoshopping skills...very subtle...the way it should be...well, most of the time. ;)

-From St. Thomas

Pouty Lips said...

*standing ovation with cheering*

Ruth said...

:D Thank you, Pouty! (little bow)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Bo! I like that coming from you.

Ginnie said...

Your life AC (After Chicks) has never been the same, Ruth!

Ruth said...

Ain't that the truth!