Monday, March 4, 2013
The Baby Chicks Are Here!
I was well pleased with the variety of chicks available today. White Rhode Islands, Buff Orpingtons, Americaunas (these lay the blue and green eggs), partridge rocks, and a few other kinds were available. I picked an assortment of kinds, 15 babies in all. They are a quiet lot, and seem to be happy in their new home.
Larry originally put a big heat lamp on them which is why the photos look red. I thought we were going to end up with chicken nuggets because it was just too hot, so changed it out for a 60-watt bulb and that seems to provide sufficient heat.
We learned a trick a few years ago: we make a box for them without a bottom, and put down a plastic dropcloth under the box. Then when their bedding needs to be changed, we just pick up the plastic and take it to the woods or the garden to dump. So much neater and easier than trying to clean the bottom of a box.
These little ones are supposedly all pullets. Our old girls will be given away when the young ones start to lay. I find it not at all worth the trouble to dress them out, and usually someone takes them and keeps them to lay for a few more years, which is fine by me. After five years, though, their production is really poor and it's not cost-effective to keep them in my book.
The cats are intensely interested, so we've got the babies under a good security system. The cats usually lose interest in a couple days, which is a relief. I, however, will probably spend a lot of time every day just watching the chicks peck around and sleep. There is something restful about it, and I can dream of them being big girls out in the coop and tending to the business of providing our breakfast.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.