Archive for the ‘baby chicks’ Category

Silkie Chicks

April 24, 2012

I finally did it! I now have two sweet Silkie chicks that I picked up on Saturday. The breeder, who lives west of town by a couple of hours, graciously met me halfway and we surreptitiously swapped money and chicks while dodging raindrops in the middle of a dance hall parking lot. I’ve been dancing ever since.

I’d been exploring the possibility of getting a couple of Silkies for the last year or two but it wasn’t until the untimely death of Coco that I decided to go ahead with it. I know, I keep replacing 1 chicken with 2 chickens, but it’s very hard to introduce 1 chicken by itself and Silkies are bantams, meaning they’re half the size of standard chickens, so these two really quality as just 1 “regular” chicken. Or so I rationalize. read more »

New Chicks!

July 19, 2010

Two new darlings have been added to the flock. The new 2-month old chicks arrived late Saturday afternoon amidst the sound and light show of a severe thunderstorm with tornado sirens blaring. It was quite the welcome—no wonder the little ones are still a bit skittish of me.

It was hard to narrow it down to only two. Chickens are addicting, especially when each breed is so unique, so I have to keep telling myself I only have a backyard, not a farm.

I ended up with two lovelies that fit my criteria. I wanted a breed that was known for its egg laying ability and settled on a Rhode Island Red. This Little Red Hen is known as a great layer of brown eggs, an active bird that can be friendly to the point of following you around the yard. It is a heritage breed and was developed in Rhode Island at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s considered a dual-purpose bird, meaning it can be kept for meat as well as eggs so it’s been a popular breed through the years.


Rhode Island Red (looking bigger than she really is)

My second choice was a Silver Wyandotte. These birds are not only good egg layers, they’re also gorgeous with white feathers outlined in black giving them a lacy look. They’re large fluffy birds, docile, and lay brown eggs. They’re also a heritage breed and first appeared in New York in the 1870′s.


Silver Wyandotte

I haven’t named them yet as I’m waiting for inspiration and to see their personalities emerge. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Roxanne and Cleo both froze with a stunned look in their eyes when they saw the youngsters. They quickly regained composure and hoofed it on over. They’re spending a lot of time circling the little girls’ coop and Roxanne has taken to honking like a goose, no doubt to the annoyance of the neighbors, trying to exhibit her dominance.

The cats and everyone else have checked out the new settlers, but they seem fairly oblivious to their stream of visitors. They eat voraciously, love anything green – clover, grass, ferns, and want to run wild. I’m keeping them penned in until they grow a little more as I’m not sure my yard is chick-proof, and I don’t relish chasing a wild chick around the neighborhood.

Visiting hours are open, so if you’re in the area stop by!

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I picked up the chicks at Anoka Ramsey Farm and Garden Center. While there, I also picked up some just harvested Yukon gold and purple potatoes, plus eggs. I couldn’t resist, they’d been grown by the young man who helped me choose my chicks. There’s nothing better than potatoes fresh from the garden. I made them into a French-style potato salad and served them with grilled chicken. Perfection.

French Potato Salad
Print This Recipe

The purple potatoes don’t taste any different, but they do make a nice accent in this salad. Feel free to use all Yukon gold potatoes or red or white new potatoes. You may also add 2 to 3 chopped hard-cooked eggs to this salad.

7 small purple potatoes (about 2 inches), unpeeled, quartered
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into eights
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, tarragon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place the purple potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, add salt (1 teaspoon) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain. Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl. Toss with the shallots, herbs, salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Place the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small jar; shake until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the olive oil and shake vigorously until blended. Pour over the warm potato mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6
(Makes about 5 cups)

Chicken Aunt

September 16, 2009

My friend Pegi has joined the backyard chicken movement and recently got 7 adorable chicks. I’m so excited—I feel like I’ve become a sort of chicken aunt.

Her husband built a beautiful chicken palace next to their garden shed and my girls are jealous. They originally planned on getting 6 chicks, but the feed store threw in an extra one. I guess it’s the updated version of the baker’s half-dozen. Although lately she said one of the chicks has been acting strange and is a little larger than the others. This could become interesting….


The Chicken Palace

The chicks are growing fast. They are Black Australorps, a large heavy breed from Australia. Apparently this breed is the Australian’s take on the Orpington breed (my Roxanne is a Buff Orpington). They are friendly, gentle and winter hardy. They also hold the world’s record for the most eggs laid in one year – 364! With my inconsistent layers who seem to drop an egg only when they feel like it, I can see that hen envy could become a real problem for me.

Happy Birthday Girls!

March 11, 2009

The girls celebrated their 2nd birthday yesterday. I made them a chick-cake filled with their favorite treats—cracked corn, oats, raisins, dried cranberries, peanuts and oatmeal—tossed with a little peanut butter and yogurt. They devoured it before I could get a picture of them with the whole cake.

Actually, Roxanne first snatched the candles (not lit), before I could remove them. She zigzagged crazily towards the back of the run fighting off the other two who also now wanted those candles. I was laughing hysterically while yelling “DON’T EAT THE CANDLES ROXANNE”. The photos I tried to snap turned out blurry I was laughing so hard—sorry—it was quite a sight.


Remnants of the Birthday Cake

I got the girls as day-old chicks, tiny little balls of fluff:


Roxanne


Cleo


Lulu


Week Old Chicks

They’ve grown into quite the swingin’ chicks.


(Card courtesy of my friend Pegi who loves the chicken dance.)