Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Chicks part 3

When the first chicks start fluttering out of the kiddie wading pool we keep them in after they hatch, it is time to move them into the small enclosed pen I have under the shed.

I sill leave the heat lamp on them at night until they get all of their feathers on their body.  The little furry heads are the last to get feathers.

 The chicks are now 3 weeks old.  Since it is warm outside and only dipping into the high 50's and lower 60's at night, I am moving them into the chicken tractor.  They have been doing fine without a heat lamp for several days. They are really funny looking at this age.  They look like miniature chickens with a biddies head.

 It's a good thing I went down early to start moving them.  This little guy had somehow gotten his beak caught in the wire.  He must have been there for a while as his feet had turned almost black from no circulation.  Papa Bear cut him loose and the other chicks started picking on him because of the small bit of blood on his beak.  I moved him into a cage of his own for a couple of days.  He has now joined the others and has had no problems.

 Here they are in the chicken tractor I built.  It has wheels on one end.  It is easily lifted a couple of inches and pulled to a new location every few days.  I stapled feed bags to the top to keep them shaded from the sun and dry should it rain.  The chicks loved being in the grass and went to work looking for bugs as they scratched.

 I ran a few pieces of rebar through the chicken tractor for the chicks to perch on if they want.  A couple of them fluttered up on the pieces immediately.  

I will probably end up building another tractor as I am almost sure this one will be too small to hold all the chicks as they grow.  All of these are destined for the freezer in a month or so, depending on how fast they grow.  I am thinking of mixing half of their crumbles ration with 1/2 game feed to push their growth.

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