Sorry to say but we have one sick chick that didn’t make it. We usually lose one each batch but usually it happens during their first month so it was very sad for us. Chicks are more delicate than most people would like to think!
When we have a sick chicken it’s number one priority to clean out the entire coop top to bottom. So while the chicks had been afraid to venture out their chicken door, they had no choice today! I had to chase and catch them one at a time to get them outside. None of us were happy about it!
As you can see, the girls are scared to death! I’m sure they will eventually get used to it, but for now, they quickly ran back into their cozy Tajma Coop when given the chance!
RIP my little friend. Hope you have fun pecking your way over the rainbow bridge!
The time is finally here! It’s moving day! The girls get to move into the coop! After a long wait due to freezing weather the chicks finally get to move to the coop!
We decided the easiest way to move them was to pick them up one at a time out of the brooder and drop them inside. Of course there was a lot of chaos. They were scared to death! I eventually had to step inside the brooder to get the last two chicks!
You try to calm them down by talking nicely to them. “Yay! You are going to your new home! Look at that! There is a whole new world out here!” It’s so cute when they freeze up in your hands swinging their necks back and forth getting a glimpse of the flowers and trees, and listening to the wild birds outside.
It only seemed right to give the tiniest bird the first ride into the coop so she could settle nicely before the next one arrived. In reality they were all a little unsure for a little while. They actually got comfortable a little faster than other chicks we’ve had in the past.
Watch the first chick get moved to the coop and then see them all investigating the place on their YouTube Channel:
It just seems like yesterday that our little Black Australorps were just fuzzy with a few feathers. Now today their little pink combs are jumping out at me! I swear it happened overnight!
I check on them at least 3 or 4 times a day so it’s not like I’m not looking at them enough. But look at all their feathers! They are only tiny fuzz balls for a very short period of time. It’s a mixed blessing. You get so worried about them when they are that tiny. We have always lost one baby chick in the past but this group of girls, even the tiny one I was concerned about for awhile, have more then survived, they are thriving!
So why am I so concerned about combs? A comb is the first signal that you have a rooster. Their combs grow faster than hens. I see a couple good combs for such a young age. I keep wondering if I not only have a rooster, but possibly more than one!
It would be great to get a rooster, but I think more than one would be a problem. Too much fighting over the girls. I guess we will have to see!
Get a good look at the growing girls on their YouTube Channel:
Baby chicks are so skittish but put yourself in their shoes! Your tiny and people hands are huge! And the only things you have been exposed to are other baby chicks, food, water and a floor of pine chips. Now one of those people hands is dropping something new into your world. “What is that? What’s going on? Is that going to hurt me?”
One of our training toys we like to give our chicks when they are about 5 to 6 weeks old is a little perch so they can start getting used to roosting.
We weren’t prepared for how scared this batch of chicks would be when we put the perch in. They ran into the farthest corner away from the perch and started climbing all over each other fighting for the farthest spot. We were afraid all the jumping on top of each other was going to injure someone!
After about 15 minutes they finally calmed down but had collected behind their feeder. Leaving a barrier between then and the evil stick! They eventually moved out from behind the food the next morning, probably out of thirst. They completely avoided the area with the perch but that’s okay for now.
Over time our big chick got brave enough to jump up on the perch which fascinated all the others. Now you’ll find up to 3 chicks using the perch. No more fear here!
Hopefully they will translate this perch to a roost when they finally get into the coop.
OK, so our bully chick has gone far enough. We decided it was time to move the chicks into a bigger brooding pen. Give them twice as much space. More space to run away from the bully. Plus, they are growing SOOOO fast! Anyone would get irritable crammed into a small space with a bunch of siblings!
Luckily the hubby is very handy and just whipped up this nice big box and cover! He’s great that way.
We would have moved the girls into the actual coop but the there is still a good 10 days of potential snow in the forecast and the girls are only tolerating temperatures as low as 70 degrees right now. We don’t want to use the heating lamp to keep things warm in the coop because they are known to catch things on fire. Having the brooder inside our heated workshop we have much more control over the lamp, which is why we have a cover with chicken wire to keep the lamp from falling in.
With all the pine shavings and a heating element you can see how something could spark and start a fire!
When we finally move the girls into the coop in a couple weeks their only source of heat will be brooding panels which are made of ceramic. Those are safe touching pine shavings.Next step is getting these girls used to temperature drops so they will be prepared for their final home!
This baby chick doesn’t look like the others. It has eyes that look more like a hawk than a chicken. This chick is also much bigger than the others. We are trying to figure out if it is a rooster or not.
And it’s not just the size or stare, but the other things this chick does that makes us wonder.
This chick is the only one jumping up on top of the brooder panel instead of going under it. Also, jumping on top of the waterer had become a favorite thing to do. Not cool! I’m tired of cleaning out the waterer 3 times a day to remove your poop!
And if there was ever a bully on the block, this chick would be it. Jumping on top of others, pulling a feather or two, and the most recent, pecking another chick in the eye!
You better hope you are a rooster or you will not be welcome in our home! We’ve had enough hens with attitude and will not tolerate it!
Check out YouTube and you decide if this chick is a rooster:
Baby chicks grow up so fast! Here they are at 3 weeks old. Starting to get personalities! There is the tiny one that cries a lot and you have to keep cleaning poop off her butt because she doesn’t move as well as the others. Believe me it’s a real thing! Called Pasty Butt. It can actually be deadly! She worried me but it finally getting bigger and healthier.
Then there is the bold one. The one that makes you wonder if she is a Rooster. Well, hard to say, but I’d prefer her to be a Rooster rather then that wild of a hen! She will be a handful! If it’s a Rooster he will have his talons full keeping the girls in line so won’t be as big a problem to me.
Ohhhhh they grow so fast!
See the girls at 3 weeks on their YouTube Channel:
We decided that out of all the chickens we’ve had our favorite was the Black Australorps. They were sweet, quiet, easy to hold and had a different kind of sound to their clucking that seemed more like talking. How sweet is that?!
Cluck Norris is half Black Astralorp and has a great personality so we are hoping one of these 10 babies is a rooster. I’m sure we will find out!
Since this is a smaller batch of chickies than we have done in the past we started with a tub and hung a heat lamp over it. We have a table style brooder panel but it didn’t fit in the tub. Also, the heat lamp was too hot in this small of a space so we bought a water trough instead which gave a good amount of space and the temperature stayed more stable. We need to start at 95 degrees and then decrease 5 degrees per week.
It’s really stressful knowing their little lives are in your hands during this initial time when they are only 2 days old! They are so delicate at this age it’s hard not to worry!
The cuties seem to be doing great on their first day. THEY ARE SOOO ADORABLE! Check out their first drink in their new home and then their first food on their YouTube Channel!
Funny story…… I was in the middle of writing this post about training the girls how to use the nesting boxes and how frustrated we are that it’s taking them longer than the old ladies to start laying. All of a sudden I receive this picture from the hubby who is taking care of the girls today! YAY! Our Rhode Island Red girls first egg!
Now I’m going to back track and tell you how we trained them!
We put the latest metal nesting boxes in the coop a few weeks ago so they could get used to it. Then 10 days ago we put the fake eggs in the area we want them to lay. The fake eggs are so life-like, including the weight, that we had to mark an X on the tip of the fake eggs to be sure we didn’t pull and sell them! Both of us had done it.
I let the girls watch me put the egg in the nesting area and backed up. They were very curious! Funny to watch.
Anyway, it looks like it worked because we have our first egg! I’m dying too see how big they get and how many we get in a day. Rhode Island Reds are notorious for laying many very large eggs. Let’s see if they can live up to their reputation!
Finally! After weeks of trying to get the new girls to spend more time outside in their run we finally have success!
The girls are now egg laying age but we haven’t seen any eggs! Sunlight has a lot to do with their egg laying cycle and it seems like they haven’t been getting enough sunshine to kick the egg laying into gear yet. They are Rhode Island Reds! They are known to be the best brown egg layers in the nation! Why aren’t we seeing any eggs yet?!
I had been bribing them with meal worms to get them outside but they don’t necessarily stay outside so I spend a little time with them to keep them entertained. Well…..I’m the one being entertained! They stick to me like glue when I’m out in the run with them. I can’t even move! They have me circled all the time! They are sooooo funny!
Well….at least they are making progress. Get some sun girls! We need eggs please!