Ma's Family

Ma's Family

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The chicks are here!

The Chick Mansion is occupied!

What an exciting morning! We received a phone call from the post office at 7 am saying our chicks had arrived! Looking out the door at all the fresh fallen snow (on March 31!) I wasn't pleased with mother nature! The ladies at the post office assured us they were cute as could be and all different colors (Who could resist taking a peek with all those cute chirps?!?) and had taken good care of them and even had them up front near the heat. They're now all in the crates sipping water and chirping away. We lost 2 in travel and a couple lame ones (their feet were stuck in the crate dividers) But overall they look to be a healthy lot.

We used wire hangers to lower the light down as they were all crowding together tight. (Never hang a light from the cord) New chicks need to be kept at about 95 degrees f but you can see this without a thermometer by noting their behavior. If it's too hot the chicks will move away from the light and be listless. If it's too cold they'll group tight together like the picture below. When it's just right they'll be active and moving around. In the photo below Topper keeps guard over these strange noisemakers. We'll have to keep an eye on him! What he's sitting on is a wire grate about 12 x 12". That's where the water goes. Straw is not very stable and we don't like leaks so there is a small block of wood for height with the grate on top for a level surface. We've added vitamins to the water and use medicated chick feed as recommended for good health.

Half of the chicks are being moved to the second crate. This crate has a white light only because the local store was out of red. Red is preferred here as it's less harsh but a chick's gotta have heat. So white it is.

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