Thursday, May 25, 2017

Two week chick update

Y'all.  I'm so impressed with my restraint, not blogging the chicks every day.  But they're 2 weeks old now, so it's time for an update.

This week I introduced the horizontal nipple waterer and a dust bath.  I think the girls understand the concept behind the waterer, but they're not quite strong enough to get the water to come out (click here for a video showing the use of horizontal nipples).  I chose nipples for my girls to keep the water cleaner, and I chose horizontal over vertical so I'd be able to set the waterer down on the ground.

The girls definitely understand the dust bath, maybe a little too much--four of them were crowded into a 32 square inch area last night, trying to bathe (click here for a video of a chick dust bathing).  Dust bathing is how chickens stay clean, believe it or not.

Hubby also built the girls a bigger diameter perch, which the girls roost on from time to time.

Next week, I think I'm going to take the nipple waterer out, and reintroduce it when the chicks are a little older.  I'm also planning on giving the girls a bigger dust bath, and I'm going to take them on their first field trip outside.

Let's just pause here while we all visualize Scarlet herding five chicks around the yard...  Let us pray that all of the chicks make it back into the house.

One more thought before the cute chick pictures--I am still loving the mama hen heating pad, and I'm beginning to think the traditional heat lamp recommendations are a bunch of bologna.  These chicks, at 2 weeks of age, do not need temperatures between 80-85°F, in fact, them seem upset when the brooder gets up to that temperature.  They experienced a night time temperature under the heating pad of 74°F during their first week, and it's gotten that low a couple of other nights, and they obviously are none the worse for wear.  The heating pad uses less energy, doesn't put out light to mess up the chicks' sleep patterns, and more closely mimics the way chick mamas would keep their babies warm.  I highly recommend this method of keeping chicks warm.

And now for the pictures:

This is Esther (Easter Egger). She's just so darn fluffy.  Her feathers are coming in gray.  This one can fly from the floor to about 2/3 of the way to the top of the brooder--she just goes straight up, though, so I don't think she'll escape anytime soon.

Austro (Black Australorp), looking regal.  I love when she does her little ballet move--stretching one leg and wing back.  Her wings are gorgeous black and white.

Rocky (Barred Rock), planning her escape, as always.  The other day, she hopped to the top of the waterer, then to the top of the feeder, and then made a break for it, landing on top of the brooder.  Thankfully, I was right there to help her get back down.

Toasty Crunch (Cinnamon Queen).  I've noticed that the feathers are coming in darker on her shoulders.  Last night Toasty Crunch made it to a perch on the top edge of the brooder and spent some time surveying her kingdom.  I'm so proud, but also terrified that these silly birds will hurt themselves--the top of the brooder is about 4 feet off the floor.

This is Red (Rhode Island Red).  It's only a matter of time until she joins her sisters in flying the coop, so to speak.  I just love the coloration on her wings.  I have noticed comb formation on the less fluffy chicks (Red, Rocky, and Toasty Crunch), and you can see it, just above the beak, in this picture of Red.

Until next time...

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