Saturday, October 16, 2010

City Homestead Tour #3...The Baby chicks

Well, they're certainly not spring chicks...
It's fall, most are thinking apples and canning, but at our household, we are also thinking chicks.  Why?  Our oldest girls are not doing so well. They are several years old, their summer molt has still not been completed, and their laying is not so good right now.  We figure that we shall need new layers soon to make up for their inconsistencies (and cock-a-doodle looking like she is on her last feather) so...enter the babies.

Here they are hiding in the corner, scared of the camera (or is it the photographer that they fear?)
We ordered them as sex links so we should get all girls this time (unlike the straight run from the feed store incident.)  When we picked them up at the post office while many people started asking questions about the peeping box.  The workers said how they get them in all the time and how the USPS are the only people who will handle chickens.  Upon opening the box, they were all peeping and bouncing around with the exception of one who couldn't walk.  Within a few days, I found it dead.  The shipping can be hard on the chicks. 

The girls are enjoying our homemade small scale brooder.  We use a large Rubbermaid container, wood shavings, chick feeder and waterer, and a brooding bulb which can be found at most hardware stores.  The brooding bulb kicks off lots of heat and keeps them warm (they need it any time of the year as for their first week they need it to be 95 degrees or so to simulate being under mama hen's warm body/wings.)  I use the chicks to tell how warm they want to be.  If they all hang out together under the light they are too cold, if they are running around the brooder, they are happy, and if they are staying away from the light at all costs, the light is too low and hot.  You can find out a lot of information from the Internet on this subject, my favorite is  The City Chicken.

So, without further delay, here are the newest members of the coop.

Are they cute or what!

The kiddos are so excited.  W. has decided not to name them until they get their grown up feathers so he can tell them apart easily.  C. often sits on the steps to the garage where they are residing.  Every so often she'll start dancing and yelling, "I hear them peeping, they are singing their song."  She begins singing a little song she has made up, similar to the kids' song about the grown up hens singing for food.
The hen song goes like this:
"Bock Bock we are in a bocky mood,
Bock Bock cause we have chicky attitude.
Bock Bock won't you give us a treat.
Bock Bock, give us something that is good to eat."

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Thanks for visiting with us girls...put your feet up and stay for a while.