Still Kickin’

Thirteen, at 7 weeks old

Hi guys.  Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I’ve been bogged down by work and life and particularly this lovely weather we’ve been having… I’ve been spending a lot of my non-work time outside, working on the garden, yard, and chickens.  Anyway, excuses, excuses, I know.  I will attempt to be better from now on.

The baby is growing by leaps and bounds.  No guess at gender yet.  As always, hoping for a girl.

Seven weeks old today!  Time flies, fo sho!  I keep wondering when I can move them back into the big coop, and then something happens to make me decide to wait.  Two days ago, I was trying not to interfere too much when I saw Rory slowly sneak up on Sofia and Thirteen.  At first, nothing happened, and I turned my back for about .01 seconds and SQUAWK!!  PEEP PEEP PEEEEEEEEP!!  I turned back to see Rory leaping in the air, flailing and clawing and pecking at poor baby thirteen.  She had murder on the mind for sure.  Cold, hard, homicide.  She was a single-minded killer.  I ran and yelled at her and by the time I got there, she had Thirteen by the head feathers.  I whacked Rory with my trusty herding stick (aka The Peacemaker) and she reluctantly let go and ran off with a beak full of baby black and white feathers.  The baby squeaked and ran for Mom, who was busy fending off amorous roosters who were, all three, singing and tippy-toe-dancing up a storm for her.  Poor Sofia has been steadfastly refusing their advances since she became a mom, plus she’s molting now anyway.

Sofia, a bit skinny and scruffy during her molt. Behind, you can just see Thirteen's puffy cheeks!

Point is – that was a little too much chaos for my own comfort.  They hang out in the grass together, but the idea of having them closed in the coop and run seems like it might still be a bit hard on the baby.  It’s hard out there for a chick.  And so we wait.

Let’s see… What else, what else?

I finally got you real pics of my raspberry flower buds…

Spring leaves and flower buds on Autumn Britten raspberry canes

The first of our three apple trees has put out beauteous flower buds and green leaves as well…

Flower buds on Silken apple tree

Ah, the promise of fruit!

And lastly, over the weekend, I took my first crack at making 4-inch blocks, which is quite a bit trickier and a lot more work than the 2-inch blocks.  But, it was time to transplant my happy little tomato seedlings.  I read that they need transplanting when their leaves start to overlap or their roots appear at the edges of the blocks.  Check and check.

I found that I simply didn’t have enough room under my grow-light setup for the new, larger tray of tomato blocks, along with all of the other seedlings.  So, I also bought a second light.  A few years ago I read a book called, “The $64 Tomato.”  It was very entertaining.  And oh, so apropos.

Anyway, the baby tomatoes now range from 2″ to 6″ tall and some are working on their third set of leaves.  The difference between this year’s and last year’s seedlings is night and day.  The soil blocks and the lights make all the difference in the world.  Big, strong plants are my goal.  I think at this point, my only problem could  be that they get so big that they need to be transplanted into the garden before it’s warm enough!  But, I’ll take that problem any day over small, spindly, delayed seedlings grown by window light alone.

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6 thoughts on “Still Kickin’

  1. Glad to see Thirteen is doing well. My babies, if they hatch, are due around April 1st. I’m excited. I have Luna in the brooder area of my coop so the rest of the flock leaves her alone. I haven’t decided if I’m going to raise the babies indoors or not. She’s on 9 egss, and even if only half of them hatch, that’s a lot for her to keep an eye on. She’s just a little bantam.

    Your plants look great too!

  2. Thirteen looks like a pullet, to me!! With the few chicks that were “supposed” to be pullets I knew by 3 weeks that they weren’t. They acted somewhat more dominant and their combs were just a tad pinker than the rest. Thirteen’s comb looks pretty yellow in the picture. :-)

  3. I’m going to guess the baby is a pullet. Is the front part of the legs a bit darker (like brownish or blackish) compared to the back side of the legs? If so, more than likely the baby is a girl :-) Plus, she looks like my Barred Rock hen did at that age. My fingers are crossed that she’s a girl!

  4. Hi Jen –

    Luke is still with us. He’s not going anywhere until Sofia and One-Three move into the big coop, so I can use the baby coop to isolate him overnight. I’ll let you know! And I’ll put it on a separate page so that you don’t have to look if you don’t want :)

    ~Lisa

  5. Hi Judy,

    Yes! The front part of the legs has a darker blackish wash over the yellow. Oooh oooh! I hope that means it’s a girl! I hadn’t heard that one before, but I hope it’s true for me! It’s tough to see in the pics, but the comb area is definitely pink… but not dark pink and it hasn’t started growing at all, so I’m still holding out hope. So far all votes are for pullet… though it may partially be due to wishful thinking on the part of my readers :) Thanks for the comment!

    ~Lisa

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