Monday, March 30, 2009

Three Week Chick Update

Are you tired of hearing about our chicks yet? I guess I haven't got over my fascination with them! If I had nothing better to do, I'd could probably sit and watch them by the hour! (Can you tell we don't have TV!)

This weekend they graduated to full occupancy of the chicken coop. (They had been corralled to about half before.) We also transitioned them to the full size feeder and waterer. We needed to fill their water and feed twice a day. Since we are hoping to spend some time in the hospital some day soon, we wanted them to survive without constant care! Plus they were wasting so much feed on the floor and kicking litter in their water. The larger feeder and waterer seems to be working much better.

We are hoping that our chickens will enjoy foraging and free ranging. In hopes that they will acquire a taste for fresh greens, we began picking grass for them. Of course, the children love to help, and they usually have quite a pile for them! The chicks really do seem to enjoy the grass and it does not take them long for them to eat it up!

Some of the chicks are quite a bit larger then the others. I'm guessing they are the roosters. They also seem to be the ones who spend their time jumping over each other and showing off! While I was watching them this afternoon, one of the Black Austrolorp chicks jumped on top of the five gallon waterer. He was quickly replaced by Mr. Speckles, who flapped and looked as if he would certainly crow if only he could! But his reign as "King of the Flock" was short lived when another black chick took his place! Sometimes one of the chicks will find a piece of paper in their bedding. Soon, the chase is on in an all out game of tag! If these young'uns are not roosters in training, I sure miss my guess! The smaller chicks seem to ignore these antics and concentrate on scratching!

Mr. Speckles is the mystery bird that the Hatchery sent. At first he looked like the other brown chicks except for the spots on it's face. Now he is sprouting out some orange colored feathers. He is probably the largest of all the chicks and has a dominate attitude!

One poor chick is far smaller then any of the others. It seems to be eating and we haven't noticed that any of the others are picking on it, but it certainly isn't thriving. It spends most of it's time huddled under the heat lamp, feathers fluffed out, looking completely miserable. Do any of you know what could be it's problem? Should we go ahead and put it out of it's misery, or give it a chance to pull through?

2 comments :

  1. What became of the little weak chick? How about the speckled chick - - is it still a "mystery?"
    I'm sorry to comment late, but I just found your blog. I enjoy it very much!

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  2. Moon Rani-
    Thanks for asking! The little chick gradually seemed to get better from whatever ailed him. Eventually he (or she) started growing and in a few weeks caught up to the others. Never did figure out what was wrong. And also never figured out what kind of chicken Mr. Speckles was. He was indeed a rooster and was a beautiful bird. We gave him to a friend where he still lives as the top rooster in a flock of hens in a orchard.

    Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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