Monday, December 3, 2012

The Long Awaited First Chicken Post!

First Chick Update:

Just a quick update then the pictures of cute animals!

So things are slowing down around the farm the last few weeks.  I, Donnie, have started working an early morning shift at Menard's in Ionia, MI which has kept me pretty busy, and getting me trim. (I've lost almost 10 pounds since starting)  Sara has started working more on the Business "stuff" such as expense sheets and tax filings etc.  And we have been finishing getting settled in, especially cleaning and organizing the garage.  All of which makes for pretty uninteresting updates.

Last Friday though we got our first batch of livestock, chickens!!!!

   As Sara already posted we got 27 chicks of several different breeds.  They arrived at the Post Office and at about 6:30 am Sara was called to pick them up.  An interesting fact; the USPS is the only mail service that will transport live animals.  The chicks hatched and were sent overnight from Ohio to us.  It is possible to do this because chicks are able to survive a little over 24 hours without any food or water as they get all they need for that time from their egg.

We are attempting to keep the brooder at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, using an infrared heat lamp.  Though in practice this is easier said than done as you have to compensate for outside temperature swings, and inaccurate thermometers.   It also meant we had to wait a few days to get you these pictures as we didn't want to take away the heat lamp the first few days or cause any undo stress.
pictures under infrared don't turn out that great
The most important thing with starting chicks is making sure you get them drinking right away.  Sara took charge for this, it was as simple as dipping their little beaks in the water so they know what it is.  We also did the same thing with their food just for good measure.  So far we still have all 27 chickens, and they are getting bigger quick!  If you look closely at some of the photos below you can see that some are even starting to get the feathers on their wings already less than a week after hatching!

Now for more pictures, since I know that is what you all really want!

This is the simple water bowl we use.

The little black chick here Sara has dubbed "Happy Feet" the only to be named so far and is the smallest of the flock.
So much variety!

Happy Feet again.
Somebody is hiding.

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