Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chicks! 3 weeks old:

Chick Update!

The chicks turned 3 weeks old this Saturday, and how they've grown! They've been threatening to hop out of their brooder box all week, but the cold has kept them from making the leap. We had a couple of bitterly cold days with the cold front that moved in, with strong winds and a 25 F wind chill that kept us shuttered inside. The chicks are almost done feathering out, and much more equipped to deal with the cold, significantly better than with their downy fluff of before. We've spotted a few combs, of our breeds we should have single comb for the Welsummer, rose comb for the Wyandotte, and pea comb for the Ameraucana. 

Here are some recent pictures:

      This little guy always stands his ground when we come in to feed or change the water (which you can see behind him, is constantly pooed in). While most of the other chickens scatter to the far corner of the box, he plants his claws and cranes his head up at you, unafraid. His comb is also one of the biggest, so far, making us think that he is, well, a he. It looks like a Pea comb as well, making him one of our Ameraucana roosters. His comb seems like something part dinosaur, part Klingon. Shall we call him Worf?

      This chick, our biggest, is always perched on top of the waterer, fluffed up to conserve her warmth. Every time we go out there, she's perched up there like the queen hen looking down on her subjects. You can see the beginning of her rose comb above her beak, must be a golden-laced Wyandotte!

     They're definitely getting a little too big for their brooder box. We added their manure and bedding to the compost piles, a great fertilizer for the garden when composted.

         The chicks are growing up, they've graduated to larger feeders and waterers, and these hang, so no more knocking them over or pooping in them! Unused to the space and cold air, they'll group together for a while under the lamp. But as you can see, the Queen is off to the side, already spreading her legs and wings and thankful for the additional space. We suspend our feeder/waterer at the chick's back height, so they can reach the insides, can't poop in them, and we can adjust them as they grow. 

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