May 09, 2011

Our Chick Diary – Week 3

IMG_1718This third week has been a busy one.  They finished up their bag of medicated starter feed midweek and are now on 24% protein chick starter.  We could switch them to a lower protein which is less expensive but we are showing ours at the fair, as per our agreement through the 4-H Poultry Chain - we want them to look good! 

I knew our chicks had really grown during these first three weeks, but I didn’t realize how much, until I saw some adorable 1-day old chicks at the feed store.  

Our chicks are now officially odd looking as they have grown taller with longer necks and are steadily adding new feathers to their attire. They have grown some nice combs.  We’ve been watching for waddles but so far there are none to be seen.

IMG_1734As their feathers have increased in number and size, so have their acrobatics.  They regularly jump high and flap across the brooder.  They are often seen on the top of their feeder and waterer, and I believe a few are planning an escape. 

A couple of the children have heard them make some clucking sounds the past few days instead of just peeping. I am hoping to hear it myself soon.

At the end of week three, we took our flock out to enjoy the nice day.  We put them in the bottom part of our toddler clubhouse to experience the grass and dirt beneath their their IMG_1740lovely taloned feet.

Of course, Hanklin (our Greater Swiss  Mountain Dog) was thrilled with the idea and after about 15 minutes of observing the chicks through the windows, he went right in with them!  He smelled the ground and then all the chicks of course. He is a familiar sight to them, regularly peering into their box, but this was an up close and personal visit.  They didn’t know what to think of him! We allowed him to explore them for a few minutes then called him out and he came, but stayed close observing through the windows.

I do not recommend this!  Hanklin has been around our chicks since day 1 and we have monitored his behavior and limited his access to them.  He is very sweet and docile with our chicks, we feel blessed.  Our other dog is not allowed near them.

Stay tuned next week:  Will the chick escape plan be put into action?  Will they be fully feathered?  Will the waddles make their appearance? Will we get our coop finished?  Only time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, they are odd looking now! :)

    I am thrilled you are sharing this as we do want to raise chickens eventually and having this step-by-step is making me see some of the things you don't usually get to see.


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