Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chick Day!

Little guys LOVE chick time!
Time for our first order of chickies!
We're staggering all our chickens this year and we're going to start with 50 now, and another 50 at the end of the month and see how things are looking from there.

50 +2 little yellow fuzzy bums
They're so cute at first!  My kids are great and being very very gentle with the little chicks, so we trying and make sure the chicks get lots of handling right from their first days. It helps to keep them calmer and less stressed on their last day when they're already used to being moved around and handled.

 Because they've had a long trip, as I remove each from the box I'm gently holding them to the water so they can get a first little drink. About half of them just wandered off while they other half stayed and had a good long drink after I put them down.
 The newspaper keeps the chicks from eating the shavings that are down underneath. This happens sometimes with brand new babies, they don't realise the shavings aren't food, and will starve to death with a full stomach. After only a few days they won't need this any more.
The chick ma-hal! 
I did put the light down a little lower after I took this pictures, it wasn't keeping the chicks warm enough (I could tell because they were all clustered underneath). All the books, etc. will tell you that you want to see some chicks drinking, some eating & some under the heater and then you can tell the chicks are the right temperature. Like most chicken keepers I've noticed my chicks actually like to sleep in big dog piles of chickens, which is how they would sleep under mom so it makes sense.

I could tell the chicks were the right temperature because they slept in a donut shape under the light, so right underneath they would have been too warm, but they were all sleeping where they were comfortable. Right now the light is only a few inches off the ground (there is a cage on it which is an inch or two off the bulb) and I'll raise it a bit as the chicks get bigger.

Last year I kept the chicks in the main part of the barn, but with the new barn kitty putting them inside the coop seemed like a MUCH better idea. It does mean the roosters Nasty & Junior are inside the coop together, but thankfully they seem to just be keeping away from each other, for the most part.

There are 2 too many roosters in that nest box

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