Brie poses with Buffy, our Buff Orpington Chick, while Brandon works on the sand project.
This is the "Before" shot.
A bit better, don't you think?
The girls are fascinated by the new ground cover in their run.
Brie gives them each a petting to make them feel at home.
Bun Bun was positively giddy with delight... and that's saying a lot for Bun Bun.
I fed the girls a corn on the cob treat for their breakfast.
Bun Bun played Peek-a-Boo with me this morning. Too cute!
This is our new Header Photo for Simply Chicks
If you understand chicken behavior, you would recognize this scene... it's the girls taking their daily "dust bath." This keeps the pests and parasites from settling in to their feathers. Very effective... and entertaining to watch too. :)
Waiting for Zucchini... and Tomatoes, and Cucumbers
Finally, some sunshine after all that rain to help our garden grow. Yippee!
Wakeman Town Farm and Our Growing Family
Brie shows guests how soft Nugget is. She's a Blue Silkie Bantam.
Silkies are originally from China. They are super soft and cuddly... very kid friendly with fur-like feathering.
We passed around chick starter feed and other treats to show everyone what chickens like to munch on.
Here we demonstrated putting together a chick brooder. It's as easy as 1-2-3!
There were lots and lots of questions from the workshop participants. And I had so much to show them!
Brie poses with Beatrice... too cute!
The bee keeper showed Brie what a hive feels like. It vibrates with all that busy activity. Brie was quite impressed. :)
My lovely niece, Debby, came to the workshop and took the wonderful pictures you just saw. Thanks, Debby!
Brie took this photo of the Wakeman Town Farm gardens. Nice!
Here's a great shot of Mike Aitkenhead's chicken coop. He crafted this by hand from his own design. Brilliant!
The Aitkenhead family have eight lovely birds... and plenty of eggs to feed their family.
Now for our growing girls: Here's AlPal!
And Pip... sweet pip... only she loves to peck at us. She's a feisty one!
Oh Madonna, you are the show off with that puffy head!
Nugget! What a little puff ball you are. :)
Pretty Penny... she has green eyes!
Petunia would just love to get into that garden behind her.
The escape artist... Pip almost got away... but Brie was too quick for her!
Pip loves to roost on Brie's arm.
Skye is lookin' fine here. She's one of our Maran's.... we hope she will lay chocolate colored eggs for us some day!
Dear Buffy.... our Buff Orpington coos like a dove. Too cute!
We're calling this one, Victor/Victoria... another Maran, though we are highly suspicious that this one's gonna turn out to be a rooster. Away with you if that's true!!
It's Moving Day!
The big day finally arrived. The girls were ready to be moved to their new home.
Out of the Old, and into the New!
Lady Gaga's on her way...
This is one, happy Lit'l Chick!
happy chick.JPG 2011-05-07
Ta Da! Home Sweet Home for our Girls
Honestly, Brie. That door's a bit too small. Even for you.
Here you go, Lady Gaga. Your new nesting box!
The New Chicken Run.... Roomy!
The run is completely enclosed in chicken wire... even the roof. Ain't nothin' gettin' in, ain't nothin' gettin' out!
Brie is a persistent little bugger... she keeps thinking she can fit through the chicken door.
Brie and Goldilocks. What a pair!
The girls are enjoying their new, spacious accommodations.
Checking out the nesting boxes. Nice!
Meanwhile, this is how Bruno is spending his time during all the excitement. Typical... for a Greyhound.
I took this on Mother's Day morning. Good morning, Girls!
good morning.JPG 2011-05-07
A Special Thank You
Bruce, our talented carpenter, deserves praise for building this beautiful chicken run and the roosting bars. Excellent work!
The family group shot on Mother's Day. Grandma looks quite cozy with her chicken. :)
Home Sweet Home
One, Big, Happy Family
With Bun Bun finally in his newly painted hutch, and in his permanent location, he is one, happy camper. He has the entire chicken run to romp in, and loves the company of his "girlfriends."
The chickens seem to enjoy the fluffy bunny too. These two species are quite compatible, and entertain each other with their antics. Too cute... and fun to watch!
Waiting with Great Anticipation
Here's Brie at the Post Office waiting (not too patiently) for her new babies.
Fasten your seatbelts, girls, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
Welcome Home, Little Ones
We had the brooder all ready for our new arrivals.
Bosco says... "Bah, Humbug."
He couldn't care less about the new family members... He just wanted to have his picture taken.
Bruno says, "Whoop dee doo."
Another non-interested party. More ambitious about tanning in the back yard in the warm sunshine.
Preparing for the Photo Shoot
We brought the chicks outside for a quick snapshot series so we could brag on Facebook...
Brie's already in love with all of them. :)
Having a Blast!
Now for the introductions. Drumroll, please....
Our petite, Brahma Bantam
Fun Fact: Did you know that "pip" is what you call the first, little hole a chick makes when it breaks through the egg shell?!
Al Pal is our Americana... another Easter Egger that will make beautiful, blue-green eggs, just like Beatrice! "Al Pal" is named after one of Brie's very close friends.
Pretty Petunia... She's a Barred Rock. They make great, consistent egg layers.
Madonna is another Polish... A Buff Lace Polish, to be exact. Just like Lady Gaga, only she will have gold and cream colored feathers.
Little Nugget is Eric's Chick. A Blue Bantam Silkie. Her feathers will be more like fur, soft and fine and very, very fluffy. :)
Fun Fact: Silkies have five toes!
Dear Angel is our Cochin. She will grow to be a white, round fluff ball with feathered feet!
Buffy is a.... you guessed it, a Buff Orpington! They are gorgeous, golden in color, very round, and super friendly.
Here's Buff struttin' her stuff on Brie's lap. (She's the bright, yellow chick just under Brie's shirt where the string of pearls are, near her open hand.)
And last, but certainly not least, Penny!
Pretty Penny is a Speckled Sussex. Our friend, Judy Morris, suggested this breed because of their reputation for having wonderful, friendly temperaments and being great with kids.
It's Chick Heaven, here at the Beller Farm. :)
Thanks for viewing our album!
For the story... go to simplychicks.blogspot.com
The Big and the Little of ItOn the Left: Beatrice
On the Right: Happy Feet
Brie and BeatriceHappy Chicks
Delousing our GirlsA little (or a lot!) of poultry dust never hurt anyone.
Play it like a rock star, girlfriend!Poor Goldilocks tolerates a very light "spanking" to get that poultry dust distributed into her bum feathers.
Bun Bun moves outside again, to be next door neighbors with the hens.He's not too happy about this... but, we are!
Get over it, Bun Bun. Eat your lettuce.
Brie with Isis
Dust Bathing... Spa Day for the Girls
Our New Chicken Coop!A mansion for our girls... 8X8 feet and an 8X12 foot run will be built adjacent to it. Roomy!
The Line UpFrom Left to Right: Goldilocks, Beatrice, Anastasia (Lady Gaga), Isis, Happy Feet
Prepping Our Girls for the Green Earth FairThey are being tested for Pullorum and AI. Once we get the "all clear" health certificate from the USDA, our girls will be ready to travel down the road to Earthplace on April 30.
Banding Happy FeetGirls got "bling" now!
Poor Lady GagaOblivious to everything...
Now open your beak and say, "Aaaahhhhhh"
Drawing BloodSeems a little stressed here.
Brave BeatriceTakes it all in stride...
All DoneTheir reward: A Little Morning Free Range!
Brie holding GoldiocksThe inspector taught us how to subdue chickens by holding them this way. They play "possum" and submit to the handler.
While it was hysterical to watch and do for a moment, we later learned from another chicken expert that this method of handling is frowned upon, because it actually stresses the chicken. Needless to say, we won't be subjecting our hens to this in the future.
Bun Bun Moves In
Outside. One Freezing Bunny Rabbit.
Poor Bun Bun.
Inside: Warm and Happy Hounds
What to do with ourselves on this snowy morning? Operation Rescue Bun Bun!
First Things First: A Spa Day for Bun Bun
Bun Bun is not enjoying "Spa Day."
But Brie is!
Not sure which is wetter, the rabbit or the bathroom.
There he goes again!
"Somebody help me, please."
no dignity - Copy.JPG 2011-01-20
Aaawwww. You're so cute!
Dag-nabbit... stay in the tub, rabbit!
Finally, wrapped in warmth. "Thank you!"
Now for the fun stuff, a little brushing...
A blow out, courtesy of Mom. :)
"Don't I look gorgeous?!"
Bruno says, "Bun Bun looks yum-yum!"
No, no Bruno. Bun Bun is "friend," not "food!"
The hat's on the wrong end, my friend.
That's better. :)
Bun Bun's new home, in Brie's playroom!
Brie and I painstakingly dragged this 50 pound hutch upstairs, all by ourselves. Quite the workout!
It was scrubbed clean beforehand, and takes up permanent residence in Brie's playroom. Bun Bun has a beautiful view of the back yard from the upper level of his new home, and lots of play time opportunities with Brie and her friends. A happy ending for Bun Bun.
Brie introduces Barbie to Bun Bun. He's not impressed.
"A little peace and quiet, now, if you please."
Bun Bun is now settled in his new home. A well-deserved nap will follow, both for the bunny and the movers of the bunny!
Bosco. Oblivious to the winter wonderland outside.
Don't wake me... it's a snow day!
Bruno... a little dignity, if you please.
One buried coop, and bunny hutch, and patio, etc.
Sleeping little chick. Happy Snow Day!
Mom... I need to pee.
get me out.JPG 2011-01-11
Anastasia looks pitiful in there.
Get us out of here!
inside the coop.JPG 2011-01-12
Free, free, we're free at last!
Time for cuddling. Here's Brie with Beatrice.
Stardust and Brie... her feet look cold!
The girls look befuddled by the snow.
Happy Feet is especially happy to be picked up.
Happy Feet.JPG 2011-01-12
Black Beauty... Isis with Brie
Making their way through the frozen tundra.
Making their way through.JPG 2011-01-12
A little time for free ranging, even if the pickins' are slim.
Dear Bun Bun... at least he's safe from the snow. We covered his hutch with an old sleeping bag, so the inside of his hutch is bone dry. :)
poor bunbun.JPG 2011-01-12
The hounds have their turn. I dug around the tree for them to have a place to relieve themselves!
blend in.JPG 2011-01-12
The boys check out the freshly dug chicken coop.
The hounds check it out.JPG 2011-01-12
Yey, a Pee Tree!
the tree.JPG 2011-01-12
Bruno makes a break for it, and runs through the deep snow!
Six Little Chicks, Roosting in a Tree...
Six Little Chicks, Roosting in a Tree
Six Little Chicks, Roosting in a Tree.JPG 2011-01-07
Perching on a Dry Branch, Happy as Can Be
Brie carefully placed each hen on the tree. They were happy to have their feet out of the cold snow, and love to perch on branches.
Isis and Happy Feet huddle together for warmth.
Isis and Happy Feet.JPG 2011-01-07
Stardust surveys her domain, such as it is.
Goldilocks loves to pose for the camera.
Good chicken.JPG 2011-01-07
Goldilocks goes for a wild ride... on Brie's Shoulder.
Goldilocks goes for a wild ride... on Brie's shoulder!.JPG 2011-01-07
Carrying Goldilocks.JPG 2011-01-07
Better not fall!
Better Not Fall.JPG 2011-01-07
Almost there... don't fly away now!
Don't Fly Away!.JPG 2011-01-07
Into the coop with you.
Into the coop with you....JPG 2011-01-07
The Morning After, Snowy Coop
Snowy Coop.JPG 2011-01-07
The sunrise was beautiful, from every window.
The Morning After.JPG 2011-01-07
A winter wonderland, in our own back yard. :)
Winter Wonderland.JPG 2011-01-07
The First Storm
Chickens Rule... Our decorated coop for the holidays, and a chance to free range before the snow storm.
Chickens Rule.JPG 2010-12-25
Moving in.... time to go back to the coop!
Moving in....JPG 2010-12-25
The chase is on....
Chase 1.JPG 2010-12-25
Run for your lives, girls, run!
Chase 2.JPG 2010-12-25
Poor, slightly stupid Happy Feet, can't seem to find the door.
Happy Feet.JPG 2010-12-25
So easy to catch... pitiful.
Last one in...JPG 2010-12-25
Ha! Caught her!
Caught her!.JPG 2010-12-25
Last one in's a rotten egg (so to speak).
Almost there....JPG 2010-12-25
Talk to the butt, my friends.
Goldilocks is in!.JPG 2010-12-25
Winterized coop for the girls. Check.
Revamped Coop.JPG 2010-12-25
Happy Hens.JPG 2010-12-25
Merry Christmas, Girls!
christmas chickens.JPG 2010-12-26
After the snow storm, we carved a path to this tree, where the girls enjoyed a well-deserved dirt bath in the afternoon sun.
Ever-vigilant, Isis is always on the lookout for trouble.
Free-ranging girls, enjoying a few pecks of snow-free earth. :)
pretty good.JPG 2010-12-29
The Payoff for all of their (and our!) hard work. Eggs! We find anywhere from 4 to 6 of these jewels in the nesting box, daily.
The Payoff.JPG 2010-12-29
Eggs and Bun Bun
Ta Da! Now, all six of our hens are laying eggs. The green one in the middle is from our Americana. Actually, it is olive colored, absolutely beautiful! She was the last one to lay in our flock, but well worth the wait.
Ta Da!.JPG 2010-12-21
Brie braves the cold to show off our collection. She is home from school today with a nasty cough, but this surprise brightened her day!
Close up.JPG 2010-12-21
Bun Bun shows off his new "digs." He has a heat lamp, and now a front porch added to his bunny hutch. Quite the deluxe accommodations for the fuzzy rodent. :)
Bun Bun.JPG 2010-12-21
He's smart enough to go back inside when the hounds are out and about. Good bunny!
Bun Bun in Hutch.JPG 2010-12-21
Fast forward a few days, these pics were taken on a relatively warm, sunny, winter day. The girls enjoy a good dust bath.
Good Dust Bath.JPG 2010-12-24
Brie cuddles with Goldilocks, our Rhode Island Red hen.
goldilocks and Brie.JPG 2010-12-24
I don't think she'll ever tire from chasing chickens.
The Chase.JPG 2010-12-24
Caught One.JPG 2010-12-24
Our Prize. The beautiful Americana, "Beatrice," is now laying gorgeous green eggs every day!
B and B.JPG 2010-12-24
We love her, and her eggs are delicious!
Beatrice and Brie.JPG 2010-12-24
Chicks Visit Local Elementary School
Brie's classmates wait patiently while Brie gently pulls Beatrice from the cage.
The students are amazed at how soft and friendly Beatrice is!
chick pics 4.jpg 2010-11-12
There were many questions about the hens... the most popular was, "Does a chicken need a rooster in order to lay eggs?" The answer.... No!
The students recorded observations in their science journals.
Brie enjoyed sharing information about animal husbandry, a new skill she has learned through this engaging hobby.
chick pics2.jpg 2010-11-12
The students later told Ms. Laus that this was their favorite day of the school year, thanks to the special visit from Brie's hens. :)
chick pics 5.jpg 2010-11-12
The First Egg
What have we here???
Oh Joy of Joys!
Stardust was hatched in May, and she was hovering around this egg, so we knew this was her creation.
Chicken experts say that chickens display "pride" in their eggs, and Stardust was no exception. We are proud of her too! We look forward to more eggs in the mornings to come. The rest of the chicks will begin laying eggs around mid-November. So... stay tuned!
Stardust's First Egg.JPG 2010-10-16
The Next Chapter
So, you're taking Mirabelle's place? You've got to be kidding!
OK... I'll take you in and keep you. :)
We'll call you "Stardust" because of your speckled feathers.
Stardust, we believe, is a Barred Rock/Polish cross. Pretty, little thing, isn't she!?
And sweet too! She likes to be cuddled!
Rhaaaaa! Attack chicken!
Ta Da! Heeeere's "Happy Feet!"
This adorable hen is a Bantam Cochin... or Cochin Bantam... whichever.
You see how small and round she is, and her feathered legs and feet?
Make a run for it, Stardust!
The new hens don't know which way to go....
They join the flock to free range.
Assimilating quite nicely!
By the second night, they all slept in the same coop. Yey!!
During some free ranging time this afternoon, Stardust and Happy Feet enjoyed a time honored tradition among chickens: a dirt bath!
Brie took this pic of Stardust getting herself covered in loose dirt. They shake it off, of course. This gets rid of any bugs that might get into their feathers.
Brie's enjoying some more cuddle time with Happy Feet.
We learned that chickens love to munch on raisins, so when the hens went back into their coop, we gave them a treat!
The chicks devoured the raisins in short order.
Well, maybe not all of the raisins. Brie put a lot in there. Here's Goldilocks and Happy Feet.
Stardust is looking pretty perky.
And did we mention we expanded the coop?
A new run and an extra nesting box fit for two hens really enhances their living space.
Happy hens living in deluxe accommodations. :)
Say It Ain't So
The Suspects.JPG 2010-09-10
Suspect #1, aka, "Chrys"
Suspect #1.JPG 2010-09-10
Suspect #2.... Mirabelle
They both look pretty guilty.
Suspect #2.JPG 2010-09-10
She is soooo not a rooster!
Ignore the bright red comb and pointy saddle feathers!
I love you, Chrys.
Dear Mirabelle, say it ain't so!
It simply can't be true, our beautiful Araucana.
Those feathers look round to me... don't you agree?
Now, don't even think about accusing Anastasia!
She's all girl!!
What do you mean, she's a mess?!
Our beautiful Beatrice is safe also.
This is one fine chick we've got here!
She'll be laying pretty blue-green eggs in no time. Yey!
Brie grabs her first reluctant "customer," Beatrice.
Poor, wet, Beatrice.
Rub a dub, dub. It's a chick in a tub.
"Please, get me outta here!"
Now it's, "Fluff time" with a warm, fuzzy towel.
"Why was this necessary, may I ask??"
"OK, enough already."
Now, it's Chrysanthemum's turn.
"I'll get you wetter than me!!"
Isis is in a state of shock.
No harm done. One clean chicken here!
And the proud spa mom has six clean chicks!
Just Havin' Fun....
It's play time with the chicks, again.
Mirabelle isn't having fun, but Brie is!
Ha, ha, ha! You're my prisoner of love!
Hugs, hugs, and more hugs!!!
Finally, the girls get a chance to free range.
It's time to play... Chase the Chicks!
It's best to sneak up on them at first, then...
The chase is on!!
Run, chicken, run!
Hiding behind the chairs works pretty well.
The girls are distracted by the bait... a.k.a. sushi!
Got another one!
Gorgeous 2.JPG 2010-09-09
You can't escape now!
Oh no.... we just heard Chrysanthemum "Cock a doodle do" again!
Oh No!.JPG 2010-09-09