The first temporary home where day old chicks will live until they are six weeks old is called a brooder. A brooder can be created from practically anything as long as you keep your baby chicks safe and draft free. From rubbermaid tubs, cardboard boxes, metal feed troughs or even prefabbed brooders, the possibilities are endless. If you only order a few chicks, you can start out with a smaller brooder and increase the brooder’s size as they grow. This chick brooder DIY project is super simple. The brooder should include a heat source, a feeder filled with chick feed, a waterer with marbles added for safety, and fresh kiln dried pine shavings.
This year, we are adding new chicks to the flock. Like our original flock, we ordered six new little ones from My Pet Chicken. Come late spring we will be joined by two Buff Brahmas, a Salmon Favorelle, two Easter Eggers, and one Golden Laced Wyandotte. We are all incredibly excited! One other thing that has us super excited is that we can now use the Brinsea Ecoglow 20 chick brooder instead of the traditional heat lamp. Last time, we ordered chicks this awesome product was not even on the market yet.
Yesterday morning, I let Dottie Speckles, our one week old Silver Laced Wyandotte, come into the house to see the kids and spend a little time with her human family. It is very important to me that we encourage her to like us and not fear humans. We had fun getting to know her. She enjoyed nuzzling into the notch of my neck. Then I felt it; OUCH!
That hurt. She was pecking at my mole. I repositioned her on my chest and moved my t-shirt up higher on my neck. She walked around on my chest for a little then returned to my neck. The kids enjoyed petting her. She too was enjoying it so much that soon enough, she was closing her eyes. Then, again in a different spot, OUCH! She was after a different mole! I thought that time she drew blood. Who knew that moles were so sensitive?
I decided to move her down to my belly. There she sat. As I was teaching my 4 year old daughter to pet with 2 fingers, Dottie went after another mole on my arm! Goodness, I think she is addicted. After spending about 30 minutes together as a family, we returned her to her chicken brothers and sisters back in the brooder.
I smiled as I closed the door to the tiny coop. Thinking to myself, now I have a chicken that not only steals jewelry from my ears, but also one that loves to attack my moles. Who knew that chicken keeping could be so dangerous! Somehow, I am not so afraid to try bee-keeping now.
|Percy Peepers stands alone|
I haven’t talked much about Percy Peepers lately. I guess because part of me finds the entire situation sad. Percy Peepers continues to eat and drink but does not seem to be growing much. He is about half the size of his siblings and it seems that Dottie will soon surpass him. In addition, Dolly Mama who cared so tenderly for his special needs decided a few days ago to return to the large flock.
Percy is having a very difficult time getting around the coop. Often, I find him alone to the side. His weight now seems too much for his little legs to bear. Usually I find him in a corner off to the side, observing his siblings participating in chicken life. Some stop over and say hello, but their time together is very brief. Luckily at night, I still find Percy Peepers sleeping together with the other chicks. I do not think that he will ever survive outside.
I know that over the next few weeks, I must make some difficult decisions. Some may say that he is only a little chick, but to me he has conquered so many hurdles and touched my heart along the way. It is very hard when you love something to make a difficult decision.
|Not alone for long|
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest