Monday, April 21, 2014

Raising Baby Chicks, Week 4: Not Quite So Baby-ish!

By week 4 the chicks had settled into our lives, and we'd gotten used to each other.

They continued to be quite messy.  With the new brooder we didn't have to clean up quite so often, but it started getting more needful as they continued to get bigger.  They were outgrowing their new brooder quickly, as we predicted based on reading alone -- but it's another thing to see it.

They were also outgrowing their chick waterers (really they were a trouble for some time, though it was nice to have the smaller waterers while they were small and also to have two for when we had to separate one due to an eye problem for a while).  We got a new 3-gallon waterer that has a cord so it can keep the water from freezing in the winter.  However, it's a bear to fill, so we're thinking for us it was the wrong choice.  Live and learn.  We're still making do with it for now.

Pictures of the new brooder:

John got some screen we were going to fit across... this way to keep them in was going to be temporary, but ended up being all we ever did to keep them in while they were in here.  It was easier... They also loved to perch on the side of the brooder so much, and at that point would mostly just stay there or hop back down inside, that we eventually just let them do that and gave up covering the box.  There were down-sides to that, however.  They would of course potty over the edge onto the floor, which made the basement even messier than it was already getting simply from their presence in the basement.  And eventually they got more adventurous and would hop out onto the floor or perch on the lampstand... which weren't really good options for them.  That was when we knew they'd reached the limit of this temporary home.

But during week four... they were still babies, comparatively.

The brooder was four feet long by four feet wide, and about 2 feet high.
My 10 year-old daughter is next to it for size comparison. 
And one of the chicks jumped up on the new waterer to show you her size comparison.  :)

Barred Rock, perching on the feeder.

The above photos show the new waterer, which we put on a box to keep them out of it somewhat better.  Next to it (and being perched on by one of the chicks) is one of the small one-quart waterers they used at first.  That really shows how much they've grown!!
Hopping up on the edge... (Barred Rock in the foreground, not certain what's in the back b/c of the blur)
...and getting comfortable.  This is a Wyandotte.
Zion with a Wyandotte.

For more about our chicken experience, follow this link, or click on the "CHICKENS" tab at the top of the page.

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