Picking Up Chicks

baby chicks on Mar 7

photo courtesy of Fred Wittekind IV

Come on now, what did you think I meant?

After a lot of anticipation, we finally brought home 5 Rhode Island Red and 5 Black Australorp pullets last night (March 7, 2012.) According to the store associate, the chicks are probably about a week and a half old, and they’re just so darned cute!

homemade chick brooderWe prepared the homemade brooder box the night before.  We tried to get everything right.  We used a length of chain to hang the heat lamp from the ceiling so that we could control the temperature by moving the lamp closer to or further away from the babies.  We were confident that things would go well, but after their first night with us, we’ve learned a few things.

  1. It gets cold on the south-facing porch where we’re keeping the chicks.  Even though the temp was right when we went to bed, it dropped a good deal overnight.  When we checked on the babies this morning, it was only 73 in their brooder box.
  2. Our porch roof leaks right over the spot where we had intended to keep the brooder.  Not only was it “cold” in the brooder this morning, it was also quite wet because of the roof leak.  Poor girls!
  3. The girls are a lot hardier than I had expected.  I guess I had this idea in my head that they’d be a lot more fragile, but everyone seems to be fine despite the fact that they got cold and wet last night.
  4. My whole family is going to get sucked in by these birds.  We bought 10 birds assuming that we’d lose some, but if we don’t lose any, I think it’ll be hard to part with the “extras”.  Oh well.  I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I know that “the girls” are going to be a lot of work at first, but it’ll be well worth it in the end.  We’ll have a lot of fun with them, and better yet, we’ll get eggs! It doesn’t get much better than that in my view!


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