Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Birds of a Feather
The chicks are a week and a half old now, and most of them are starting to get wing feathers and tail feathers.
About half a dozen of them have started to get wing feathers, but no tails yet. They still have little fluff-butts!
They have also started playing an avian version of football, like these two here playing "Tackle the Man with the Football." Periodically, one will find something it thinks is exciting (like a dead bug or a big piece of wood shaving). When it pounces, the others notice and they all come running. The one with the "football" starts racing all over the brooder with the others hot on his tail. Usually another one gets it, then he's the man with the football. Eventually, one of them manages to stop and gobble down the football before getting mobbed. It's too funny!
I started the chicks on grit (ground up rock) today to give them something in their crops to help them digest their feed. With the grit, I added some crushed egg shells for calcium.
This chick is showing off its newly developing comb, another sign that they are growing up.
Right outside the brooder door the great wide world is ready to be explored, and the chicks are eager to do it. They often sit by the door as if drawn by the glimpse of light and blue sky outside. Our research tells us that 2 to 3 weeks is the right age for moving them to a chicken tractor outside . . .
. . . so Herb is starting to build it. We have to wait for the late-feathering ones to catch up with the others as they must all be fully feathered before moving outside. It got relatively cool last night, and they were all clustered right under the heat lamp when Herb found them this morning. Our intent, until we see how the chicken tractor works, is to move them to it during the day, then bring them back into the brooder at night. This is a learning process for us, and we want our "guinea pigs" to survive!