Thursday, April 24, 2014

Two Week Check In

Chicks grow fast.  Very fast.

And since they grow so fast, they need a bigger brooder - fast.

I sat down one morning to check on them and out flew Bismo Funyun.
Say hello, Bismo.  She seemed to think nothing of it and after a few minutes of looking around the family room, she flew back into the coop.  I was astonished to say the least and immediately set up a newer, larger, ENCLOSED brooder.  
As soon as the chicks were big enough, they graduated to a hanging waterer.  If you don't do this, you will be changing the dirty water several times a day.  By hanging it a few inches off the ground, the chicks are less likely to kick bedding and poo into their water source.  With the new waterer, I am only changing it once every 24 hours.
Personality abounds.  This is Dan and she is the friendliest of the group.  I'm not sure if 'friendly' is an apt description.  She's simply very curious.  She will hop out while I clean the brooder and be the first to come and inspect what I'm doing.  The chicks fight and bicker and fly at each other.  Sparkle is terrified of anyone and anything and will run and hollers, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" all day long.  My kids tried to have a sleepover in the same room and were kept up all night by her anxious peeping.
 Dan and Bismo rule the roost.  They are also the most social with humans.  Jessica, the golden child, could care less about any of us but will put up with us when we want to pick her up.
The heat lamp is only giving them around 80 degrees F at this point because it's so much higher than their perch.  Oh, I bought a tiny little perch for them to sit on.  My husband said that buying a perch from a store "is such a girl thing to do."  Hmph.  
They are all huddled in the corner in the morning, trying to stay warm.  I'll tweak this by adding a new roost bar a little higher off the ground, closer to the heat.  Then they will have some options based on their comfort.  I'm not sure what is too hot and what is too cold.  I figure they will self-regulate if given the opportunity and that's just what they've done.   When they are little, you need a corner of the brooder to be around 95 F.  I had it at 100-104 and they didn't like that very much.  

The starter food that I use is water-soluble, which means the chicks don't need grit with their food.  Apparently, chickens need a dish of grit to eat with their food.  It helps them to digest.  When they graduate from their chick feed, I will have to add a grit feeder to the coop. 

So far - raising chicks = easy peasy

1 comment:

Erica said...

Great photos - keep them coming!