The chicks are two weeks old now. They are changing day by day. I’m a bit shocked by how fast they are growing. Relatedly, I am a bit shocked by how much they eat.
Yesterday morning my daughter called out, “Mom! Come here!” in that voice that means something is really, actually wrong. One of the Austra White chicks was standing on top of the wire mesh that loosely covers their home, a large rubbermaid rough tote I call the Chicken Pack-n-Play.
There were small gaps – maybe 2″ squares – in between the strips of mesh, but we figured the angle would male it pretty much impossible for any chickens to escape, especially since until about 3 days ago they were about as aerodynamically gifted as a cotton ball.
Clearly, they enjoy proving us wrong.
Here’s how the girls are growing:
The Austra Whites. Flightly little escape artists (it’s the Leghorn in them), you can’t trust ’em for a minute.
Barred Rocks, starting to see those pretty stripes. One of these is towards the top of the pecking order.
Ameraucana. One is very docile and gets pecked a bit already. They both tolerate our handling better than the others. I found one of the Ameraucanas hiding out alone under the tupperware that raises up the waterer and am worried she’s not doing so well. Seems a bit isolated. Thoughts?
They do enjoy their Ikea tea-light holder perch. They all crowd up there.
I have some cute video of one of the Barred Rocks attempting a beak-pull-up on the mesh. Right now iMovie is being recalcitrant so I can’t edit it but I’ll try to put it over the weekend.
How are your chickens growing?0
Wow, they grow fast! So cute, and I love their perch. We brought our day-olds home yesterday. What astonishes me is how much they poop–everywhere. It feels like I'm constantly adding more paper towels to the brooder bottom. I'm curious how often you take the chicks out to cuddle them. We're trying to figure out the right balance between handling them to encourage bonding and leaving them be so they don't get too stressed.
Erica/Northwest Edible Life says
Saskia, I try to handle each chick daily, but I don't hang on to them for too long. But I don't know if this is "optimum" since we are learning as we go! I'll ask on the FB page.
My barred rock likes to stand on top of the mason jar water container and look longly out the brooder. Thankfully she's my docile one so she may come when I call her back, hehe.
I had a similar gap using my hardware cloth so I switched to two old window screens and it totally covers the brooder now.
As for growth, mine appear to be slowing down finally. At a little over a month they've grown inches a day it seems, but now seem to be putting more energy into feather production than growth. Of course it's looked like they had feathers from the start, so I'm clearly no expert.
In a perfect world, I'd hold each chick for five minutes a day, but with only 4 that gets to be too long for me. I hold them about a minute or two a day, reinforcing their name. No clue if it helps, as their individual personality trumps my training, but I do it anyway.
Pretty soon you'll probably hear them careening into the top of the brooder…they're trying out flying! It is crazy how quick they grow!
I was terribly attached to our first batch of ladies, but with this second batch I have kind of gone thru the motions. I really think that chicken temperament has more to do with breed than how much you coddle…and in my experience they are only 'trainable' with routine (they all come a runnin' expecting treats when I open the back door) and have no name recognition whatsoever.
If your 'quiet' chick is acting the same for another day I would think about separating her…don't want to get your whole flock sick. Make sure she's getting enough water and food, and maybe look into meds.
April Alexander says
I wouldn't worry about the Ameraucana because ours was pretty much a loner as well. They're super tame, and from what I've read they're one of the most tame breeds out there. Our little Ameraucana still tends to keep to herself. I think they just roll that way. Your chickies are super cute! Glad you're having so much fun with them. 🙂
Windshield Replacement MN says
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