No doubt, this is chick season. This past week, and for the next few weeks, we will be consumed with chicks. Today we picked up our first broiler chicks. These chicks will end up as meat birds. they grow fast and taste good. (Sorry to all the vegetarians out there). Doing meat birds was a big thing for us. we have heard horror stories about the White Rock crosses, the standard meat bird, that made us shudder slightly. Everything from they drop dead (which they do) to they appear almost featherless when they are older. These birds grow FAST. Too fast for their poor little organs to handle. They don’t make adulthood. Because of all this we decided to go for the slightly slower growing birds that seemed just a bit more normal and less franken bird like.
They other chick thing we have been monitoring is that we have a number of our own eggs under broody chickens and in the incubator. they started hatching out yesterday and we will be monitoring the process for the next few days. We currently have three broody hens with perhaps 15 or so eggs. the rest are in the incubator due to start hatching tomorrow. With any luck we should have almost 50 new chicks to grow out for laying. So far we have five new chicks and counting!
They are sooo cute!
Chantecler chickens outside enjoying the weather.
Yesterday we moved the chickens into their permanent coop. Catching chickens is not for the faint of heart. Tim and I put the box down hoping they might check it out. How wrong we were. We ended up blocking off the exit hatch and catching them one by one and putting them into the closed box. Surprisingly we managed to get thirteen on the first try.
Once in the new house we dumped them out nicely into their new digs and went back for the last three. They seemed to like it right away. they picked away at the old wooden boards as though they were filled with bugs. Who knows maybe they were? They stayed in for the rest of yesterday. Last night it turned quite chilly so at 9pm we had to make quick modifications to their world. I was worried they’d be too cold. So we piled a couple of straw bales around their lamp. This seemed to make them much happier and they settled down to sleep, dreaming of caterpillars and ants.
Today was the first time in the big room at their new place. To lure them out I threw some chicken scratch out the door in little red riding hood style, they followed. Right outside the door was food and water, some took a drink and nibble, others went straight for the bugs.
All the chickens seemed to enjoy the outdoors more in this pen than the last. I think because the door is less tunnel like. I was happy to see them out eating, running around and generally enjoying being alive.