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 difficult....so 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.