Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chicks Day 13

We are sure enjoying our little chicks!

Promise has taken it upon herself to help tame all the chicks, particularly the Marans so that when she goes to collect eggs they don't behave too aggressively. She takes them out of the bin one by one, pets them and feeds them by hand.

They are getting really really big and are completely crowded in the little bin. Today they are moved outside to the critter playpen/chicken tractor I made from chicken wire, pvc pipe, and scrap wire. This will give me an opportunity to clean the little bin for the Ameracaunas that will stay in it, and prep the big bin for the Marans that need roomier diggs.

At one point toward the end of the video I comment on how the chicks appear to be in shock. Soon after they completely freak out and begin to huddle in the corner I was sitting in, some flew to get there nearly clearing the top of the pen. I covered the top with just a tarp giving them an illusion of safety and they settled down considerably.

This everyday chick video blog thing isn't working out, I am just too busy. I hope no one minds the video coming in as sporadically as it is. :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chicks Day 7

I was up very early this morning - for me anyway. I rinsed my mug and put it in the microwave and sat down to grind feed until the microwave beeped. I made my cappuccino, slid fresh paper under the chickies and turned on the camera for feeding time.

Chicks Day 6

Chickie video taken last night. I had the hubby move the video compressor software to my compy so I don't have to wait to get time on his, transfer files, transfer them back, etc. Which is good news for you chickie vid addicts because day 7 is already done, and it will be the next post I make! Hurray!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chicks Day 5

Project - Spring Chicken is officially on Day 5 of the video blogging project. I missed Sunday as we were out all day at the May Day Parade, and yesterday I discovered I had no battery juice left to take video with! >:( I do plan to load a video for today. They are sleeping right now, I think it's the first time they've been quiet since they got here.

Some of the birds are developing a little faster than others. A few have little baby wing feathers. The Marans are discovering they have strong powerful legs and they can run REALLY fast with them, even sometimes running right over the littler chickens. The little red Ameracauna I loved so much has a slight cross beak - a genetic problem from bad breeding. If if turns out to be a rooster, his name is "soup", if it's a hen, I'll wait to see what color egg she lays before deciding what to do with her.

Incidentally, I was sold the wrong bag of feed at the feed store. I have large crumbles and what I needed for small chicks was more of a powder (small grains) type feed. Most feeds stores will not take returns, and feed can sometimes spoil before chicks are old enough to eat adult sized crumbles depending on your storage methods and humidity. I hate to see feed go to waste, particularly when its becoming so expensive. The bag of feed is currently being stored in my kitchen, (it's extra convenient to feed the chicks if they are right next to each other). Having been sold the wrong feed before (a recurring problem with my local store) I know from experience that you can toss it in a food processor to break it down. I don't need so much at a time just yet so I'm running about 1/3 of a cup per feeding through my mortar and pestle.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Chicks Day 2

So I counted the little boogers today while transferring them to the bigger bin and I actually have 23 chicks! YAY me!

I transferred them into a large plastic tote bin so they could have more room to eat and I could fit waterers in on the floor. The heat lamp sits a little too high since the sides of this tote are taller, and I suppose plastic does not insulate as well as cardboard does. They cooled off and started bunching up again after the feeding frenzy was over, so back into the little box they went.

Chicks Day 1

Here is last nights video of my new chicks. I apologize for not getting this posted last night, as promised. After returning home I discovered we were having some online difficulties - no, not the technical kind. Do I grrr? Do I sigh? Do I care? Bleh.

Anyway, I have 13 Cuckoo Marans (the "s" is silent) and 8 Ameraucana chicks. Some of them, if you look really closely still have their egg tooth. An egg tooth is a little tooth like bump on the tip of their beak that they use to break out of their shell when hatching. This tooth will dry and fall off in a day or two.

The only thing I didn't mention in the video that I thought about afterwards as I adjusted the heat lamp, was the heat lamp! I am using a 60 watt bulb in a standard clip on heat lamp fixture. Heat is very import to new chicks. In the video notice how they are all clumped together, the heat lamp is too high and they aren't warm enough. After the video I clipped the lamp to the side of the box and draped a towel over it to keep the heat in, leaving about a 2 inch gap along one side for ventilation. After awhile I checked in on them and felt the sides of the box to make sure I wasn't about to start a house fire. The insides were cool to the touch and the chicks had spread out nicely indicating they were very comfortable.

Enjoy the video. Day 2 will be posted shortly. :)