Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Chicken in Every Pot... or Bedroom?

Liz & Biscuit

The chicks arrived last Wednesday on the heels of a cold snap that dumped nearly 7 inches of snow on our town.  I had planned on keeping the brooder in the garage until the coop is completely finished, but with 19-degree nights, I was worried that it'd be way too cold for them to survive even with the heater.  What room in the house is totally off-limits to the dog and the cat?  My bedroom.  I've been falling asleep to quiet little peeps and waking up to the occasional ruckus of the attempts to establish a pecking order.

It hasn't been all fun and games, though.  One chick arrived somewhat on the lethargic side and sadly, didn't live more than a couple of days.  Two more chicks quickly succumbed to something unknown and a week in, I have eight survivors.  Their deaths were definitely not a good experience, saddening all of us with each loss.  Right now though, we're focused on taking care of rambunctious chicks.  I think the hardest part at this moment is keeping their food and water clean.

They endlessly kick wood chips into their water and food.

And stand on the waterer.

And their heater.

And they poop a lot.  I'm starting to think they're trying to poop their own body weight each day.  Their bedding will be composted and eventually added to the garden (cue Elton John singing "in the ciiiiiiiircle the circle of liiiiiiiife....")

First day
Compared to when they first arrived, as tiny peeping balls of fluff, they've started to feather out this week.  I still can't tell the Welsummers from the Speckled Sussex chicks.  I think the two black chicks are the Cream Legbar chicks, but I guess I'll find out in a few weeks.

I'm still hoping that I don't have a rooster.

6 days old

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