Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pickin' up Chicks

We did it! We have two chicks! Joel and I have been dreaming about raising chickens for eggs for years and we are finally making it happen. Thanks to Joel's folks being forced to buy a minimum of 6 chicks at a time, we were able to take two off their hands and begin our own journey in hen keeping. 

When you raise chicks there is always a small chance you could have chosen a rooster. According to my in-law's supplier there is a 5% chance that our girls are not girls. If one of them turns out to be a rooster we will have to find a new home for it since we live within the city limits and roosters are not well known for being good neighbors. 

Chicks need to stay warm so it is vital that they stay in a insulated box that remains about 80 degrees for the first few weeks of their lives. We are using a 100 watt bulb to keep them toasty in their box. When they are huddling under the light, they are trying to keep warm. When they are away from it, we know that means they are plenty cozy. Every week, as they grow, we can remove the towels, insulation, the lights, etc to let them cool down and slowly prepare to move outdoors.

It is important that chicks have paper or paper towels as a carpet for their time in the box because if they are left on the slippery plastic they will injure their legs and they could become deformed. 

We also have to provide our chicks water and chick starter (feed). We have chosen not to give our chicks medicated feed because we don't want antibiotics going into our potential egg layers for no reason. You have to ask for non-medicated food at Tractor Supply. 

I am having a hard time keeping my hands off these little fluffs of yellow. Unfortunately, so is our kitty. Booger is so interested in what is cheeping inside this box. He is finding that we are not being very open to his normal slipping into the house to steal a nap on the furniture. 

More chick updates to come! We are celebrating step 1 in hen raising!

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