Week #2: New Chicks update

I’m a little late getting this up on the blog, but no time like the present. The new chicks are still doing great. We have moved the heat lamp up two links higher, and the chicks are exploring the exterior part of their brooder more. The two Red Ranger chicks are now almost 3 times the size of the other chicks and are mostly feathered out. We have hopes of testing them outside for a little bit on Friday the 31st. If they do well, we will probably have them out in the tractor for most of the weekend barring rain.
The Tetra chicks are feathering nicely and are starting to get a little bit more color. The Asian chicks seem to be developing white bellies and are getting quite tall. I’d really like to see their bellies stay white, but it is really to early to tell. The buffs, barred rocks, and RIR chicks are all still smaller than the others, but they are holding their own.
This batch of chicks has been a joy. The first time we brooded chicks, we were so worried about loosing them, that we more or less babied them constantly. We changed their shavings daily and kept the feeder topped off every time we went by them. This time we are more confident that we have healthy birds and are more realistic with their care. We have been changing the shavings weekly, unless they are uncomfortably soiled. The water and feed containers are filled every morning and in the evening before bed. They are never empty, and the water does get changed sooner if droppings are found in one of the containers.
We have finally passed the pasty butt phase. They are feathering out enough that their droppings don’t catch in fluff. The chicks are very comfortable in their surrounds, although they do still flitter about when you get the brooder open to tend to them. Overall, I believe, that after the experience we have gained with this batch of birds, we will definitely try expanding to a large batch of meat birds next year and work on freezing organically grown chicken to ahve all year long.

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