Thursday, April 4, 2013

Update on Chicks: One Week

I had forgotten how much work baby chicks are. I have to change their water and check their feed and litter three or four times a day. We lost two of the freebie chicks in the first couple of days but the rest of the birds seem to be doing great. We have only had them for a week and they are already noticeably bigger. The chicks and guineas are already getting some real feathers on their wings. This is especially interesting on the baby chicks because they all started out yellow but their new feathers are different colors. Eventually I hope to figure out what breeds they are, just out of curiosity. The guinea keets are far noisier than the chicks and ducklings (although, to be fair, they only make a lot of noise when they are upset). The ducklings are perhaps the most adorable because they shake their tail feathers just like a big duck and make adorable dabbling sounds when they drink water (which is nearly all the time). I clip little pieces of fresh green grass and sprinkle it in their water and they go crazy over it. I can only imagine their joy the first time they get to swim. I have to let them get older and more fully feathered before I let them swim because they can drown or get chilled at this early age.

I have found the forums at Backyard Chickens to be a really great resource for anything poultry-related. They have over 180,000 members and many of them are very knowledgeable. If you are considering a backyard flock I'd really recommend checking out their site. If you are looking for a good book about chickens I'd recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow. If I could only own one poultry book it would definitely be that one. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks and Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry are also excellent resources.


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