Petting Zoo!

This weekend we went to the Texas A&M Vet School Open House.  We skipped most parts, but Ewan thoroughly enjoyed the petting zoo!  After his trepidations at the tent containing various breeds of dogs, I was not so sure he would like it.

Once Joe introduced Ewan to a baby goat, he was sold.  They were his favorite.  A teenaged girl saw Ewan having so much fun with them, she asked if she could give him some food to feed a baby goat (they sold food there).  We said yes, and Ewan had an audience of people clearly thinking toddler boy + baby goats = one of the cutest things ever.  I saw several girls taking cell phone pictures / video of him.  (I choose to be flattered instead of creeped out.)  After the food, one baby goat decided to give Ewan lots of “kisses” (licks) – the picture on the bottom left is Ewan getting a free ear cleaning.

The alpaca was very soft and sweet.  Ewan had no idea what it was, but was very excited when he first saw it – I love that he still waves his arms in the air when he gets excited about something.  Confession: At the time, we told him it was a llama.

Ewan kept squatting down and smiling at animals right in their face.  After petting so many soft animals, the wiry-haired pig was not his favorite.

Ewan had never touched a chicken before.  He liked the soft feathers.  When Ewan only said a few words, he would call chicken (like chicken nuggets or chicken and dumplings as well as chickens in his books), “bock bock” (the sound chickens make).  That stuck for a long time, and still he often calls chicken, “chicken bock bock.”  He has definitely known that he eats chicken, pig and cow, but I never know how his mind balances the food and the animals.  Several times when we’ve given him meat cooked a different way he’s asked, “Cat? Dog?” and we have to tell him it’s just chicken, not cooked cat or dog.  Tonight (the day after the petting zoo) we had some chicken breast and Ewan kept pointing to different parts of the meat and saying, “eyes, nose, mouth” just as he did with the live chicken.  Who knows what he thinks.  He still ate it.

One time Joe leaned over, only to have a deer pop up in his face.

A highlight for me was the wallaby carrying a baby in her pouch.

We had a good time, and as always it lifts our hearts to watch Ewan delighting in his experiences.

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Chicks – one week!

They grew so much in the first week, check it out:

two days old

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seven days old

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The chick’s wings are getting real feathers on them (the rest of the chick is still fluffy).  Here’s a few pictures of how they’ve grown:

one day old

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three days – a few real feathers starting to grow

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seven days (picture then video)

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A bird in the hand…

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Last night we got 13 one day old chicks!  Technically they are pullets (girl chicks) that will become hens that will give eggs.  They are too cute for words, so here are some pictures and videos.

a good view of a one day old chick

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We have three different breeds: Black Star (black sex-link), Red Star (red sex-link) and gold sex-link.  All sex-link chicks are hybrids – they have a mom of one breed and a dad of another (you could not breed two black sex-link chickens to get more black sex-links).  For sex-links (using that word so much is going to make some people who find this via google very disappointed), the males and females look very different when born (it usually very hard to tell the difference), so hopefully we won’t end up with any roosters by accident.

This picture has two of each type.  The blacks are pretty obvious (far left and right).  The reds are on the left and the golds are on the right – you can see the lighter stripe down their backs.  They had some super-cute brown sex-link chicks, but I couldn’t find any info on them online (they might be aggressive and later hurt the other hens for all I know).

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We have 3 blacks, 7 reds, and 3 golds.  I read only great things about the reds, but some questionable about the blacks (they can be slightly more aggressive, that’s why I only got three), and only a little about the golds.  So far the blacks are DEFINITELY louder.  They don’t really peep more, but it is probably at least three times as loud as the others.  The golds seemed happiest to be held, but only marginally.

cute little wings!

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They like to peep a lot! (video)

It needs to be about 95 degrees (F) for these guys their first week.  You can tell if they are too cold because they bunch up together under the heat lamp like this: (we had just replaced the normal light bulb with a heat lamp)

cold

When the temperature is right they spread out more.
sleeping chicks!

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Here they are acting normal – eating, drinking, peeping, and pecking. (video)

We held each one of these ladies for a little while last night (Joe was a good sport and helped out).  I’m going to try to handle them every day so they like people.  Sorry, I’m about to get really cheesy, but they are so cute…

Peek-a-boo!
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I think Joe and I are going to take some Easter pictures with these cute little guys.  I wish they stayed this cute AND layed eggs!  If you need another video, click here for an up-close view or come by and see them for yourself!

Now that you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy, vote for my COWPIE story below! ;)