Chicks are Here!
Tuesday, 20 Mar 12 Sunny 29°C / 84°F
I picked up the chicks this afternoon and have just finished getting them settled. The hatchery sent 21 rather than 20, and they all seem relatively happy.
I moved the brooder lamp closer to them as they seemed like they were crowding together to keep warm. When I went out to check on them a few minutes ago they seem to have spread out a bit and their peeps seemed slightly less strident. A few even appeared to be taking a nap.
I have two waterers, a chick feeder, and tons of feed spread over newspaper. I dipped their beaks in the water as I took them out of the box they came in and they seemed to find the feed on their own.
They did/do seem a little stressed and a few seemed to be getting picked on. They also seem to be preening themselves a bit? I’m not sure that they are supposed to be doing that this young? Some books mention feather pulling, but I hope that is not what they are doing. I don’t see any blood or any feathers in their beaks. They have a nice big brooder space, lots of food and water, and deep litter, so hopefully they will be happy and I will not have too many troubles. The small scale poultry book mentions that a lot of the problems outlined in more commercial texts are due to issues in management. I’m trying to let them have a happy life, with species appropriate experiences, and avoid the scary cannibalism, feather pulling, and other problems discussed at length in some poultry books.
One chick seemed to be shivery so I picked it up and held it in my hands and it seemed to warm up. I dipped its beak in the water and it had a nice big drink again, and seemed to find the feed, so hopefully it will perk up.
They are all super cute. Some have darker colouring than others, but they all have a white/yellow spot on their heads and white bums. I am amazed at how small they are. I figured they would be small (they do fit inside an egg after all) but it’s quite something to see.
Oh well, off to grab a bite to eat and then back to watch the chicks – it’s quite mesmerizing.
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