Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby Chicks!

Early spring brought huge change on our farm!  We got baby chicks, hatched out more baby chicks, got a puppy, and picked up our cattle!  In mid-May, our first set of chicks arrived. We ordered from Performance Poultry in Ontario together with some other people on the ACE forum. They arrived in good condition and thrived on arrival. I was expecting day-old chicks, but they were probably a week old when they arrived. We ordered some heritage breeds, hardy enough to withstand our winters.

The lighter colored chick with the spot on it's head is a Buckeye.  They are a hardy bird with a pea comb that is low to it's head so it's not prone to frostbite in the winter.  They are a calm bird, dual purpose, easy to handle and are known to chase down and eat mice!  They are a rare breed, and absolutely gorgeous.

The smaller, darker chicks are a Buff Brahma Bantam.  They are also hardy, and know for their brooding and mothering abilities.  I hope to use them for hatching and raising chicks.

These chicks attacked the feed and water immediately!  Their flight from Ontario was a dry one, but they did not seem to be affected at all by the partial day of no food.  Of course it got really cold right after we got them and they lived in our basement for a week until it started getting stinky!  The kids enjoyed being able to go downstairs and watch them, we housed them in an oversized plastic storage tub with a heat lamp dangling overhead.  We had a remote temperature sensor under the lamp so we could keep an eye on the temperatures, especially when we moved them into the garage and the temps fluctuated from day to night.  We had some large wooden crates that we used to house them in the garage, and once they were fully feathered, we moved them into a chicken tractor that we built.  I'll put up pictures of the tractors in a later post!

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