Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Chicks Have Arrived

We've talked about it forever. How nice it would be to have chickens. Free eggs every day, little creatures for the kids to chase after, a wake up call at the crack of dawn... so when we moved into our new house, with a ready made chicken coop out back I knew it was only a matter of time. A few weeks ago I drove past the IFA and the sign read "Chicks are here" and the thought that followed was NOOOOOO.....I am so not ready for chicks....I don't have a brooder for them, and know nothing about raising chickens. My husband was like "really, how hard could it be" so a few days later we became the proud owners of 10 baby chickies.
4 Rhode Island Reds, 3 White Leghorns and 3 Buff Orpingtons.
Aren't they CUTE!!!
And as it turns out taking care of them isn't really all that far.

Here's what I used to make their first brooder:
-Cardboard box 22" x 19" x 19"
-Pine shavings for bedding
-Paper towels to put over the bedding the first 2 days so they can tell their food apart
from the shavings
-Heat lamp about 19" above the ground to keep the temp at 95 for the first week
-2 round feeders
- 1 poultry waterer
I love how these chicks have 10 minute cycles. They nap for 10 minutes, then eat for 10 minutes, play for 10 minutes and then begin it all over again. I love how they cuddle up to each other when they sleep. I love how they tip their heads back when they take a drink. I love their little chirping sounds. They really are cute & fun.

Another thing about them is they can EAT!! They went through their 5 lb bag of starter crumbles in a week. I had no idea they would eat that much. But it shows because after about a week and a half they seemed to double in size. It got to the point that I was changing their water every 10 minutes it seemed, because they were kicking their bedding into it.  It was obvious they had outgrown that box and so I set to work creating another home. We call it the chickie condo. Made from 3 of those size boxes taped together, with doorways cut out in between.
My husband has a rule that we don't name them, unless we name them after chicken entrees, like Cacciatore, Teriyaki, or Scampi. My personal favorite is Alfredo :) However I think I just might have to become a vegetarian now.