New arrivals: we bought 6 day-old chicks!
Last year, we raised 3 bantam Cochins but they were already 6 weeks old when we got them. We also picked up a couple of hens from the NY state fair, but those were already grown. This year, we decided to try starting with day old chicks.
We picked up our chicks from a local hatchery and brought them home in a small shoebox with a few air holes. They chirped loudly most of the drive home.
They are very cute and fluffy!
Click through for some more pictures!
The day old chicks need a heat lamp at first – they are supposed to be kept around 90 degrees for the first week and decreasing by about 5 degrees per week thereafter – this helps simulate the temperature they would be at if they were sitting under their mother. If the chicks are all huddled together closest to the lamp, the heat lamp is not warm enough or too far from their cage. If the chicks are huddled together in the farthest corner from the lamp, the temperature is likely too high.
The area the chicks are in needs to be kept relatively clean. There are many diseases that they can get if the area is too wet and soiled. We used paper towels on top of newspaper so it was easy to change out at least once per day.
The chicks have a natural instinct to peck and eat food on the ground, but you have to actually grab each chick and dip its beak into water to trigger a response to drink. We made sure to dip each chick’s beak into the water a couple of times for the first few days just to make sure they would drink.
The chicks have been thriving and growing rapidly. Here they are just before being moved from their initial crate into a larger crate because they were running out of space.
Stay tuned for more updates and details on their progress!