Look at these little faces! There are little chicks all over the place this week! These guys are the Brahma chicks. They moved into the brooder I built last month. These shots are from when they first arrived – two weeks ago.
I WILL get some more up to date shots this week. They are quite happily growing bigger every hour while chasing each other around their brooder. There are four buff, two dark and two light. I think there is one rooster in the group. That might work out quite well in the long run.
Meanwhile, in the Chicken Palace, Audrey has been sitting patiently for twenty-one days waiting for her own brood to arrive. Over the last two days the ‘peeping’ choir has become stronger and stronger.
With both Audrey and I being newbies at this process I wasn’t sure what to expect. After her ‘Poop Explosion’ things settled back down … until this morning I found her out and about with three chicks! I got out of her way and continued my clean up chores until I heard loud distress squeaks sounding an alarm. When I went in Audrey had gone back into her nesting box and two chicks were left on the ‘outside’. One was a little black fur ball – he looked like he’d be fine but he sure was upset to not be able to get back to his mom. Then I noticed a poor little white chick flat on its back – legs stiff and extended out behind it – eyes wide open – not blinking. I thought at first something had killed it. But as I picked it up the beak moved the tiniest bit … I cupped it in my hands and sat down for five minutes until it had revived and was peeping away in my palm. I think it just got too cold. I tucked it back under Audrey in the nest. Not half an hour later I again heard sounds of alarm coming from the coop. There they were, again, two chicks shivering out away from mom – who was still sitting on three eggs and three other chicks. She had her own dilemma. Leave the other chicks and the eggs to get these two – or leave these other two to figure out how to get back while keeping the rest warm.
I decided (likely much to the chagrin of my ‘Chicken Coach’) to turn on a heat lamp. Then if the chicks were out from under Audrey they wouldn’t be bothered by being too cold. (We had snow last night … bent the tulips and daffys right to the ground … stayed around until midday. So … it was cold enough!) That seemed to do the trick. The chicks were out and running around and Audrey stayed on her remaining eggs. She is very tolerant of my presence. I think her bath the other day showed her I was trying to help. The chicks are confident little things – not frightened by me sitting there. If their mom sounded the alarm they’d likely think differently.
It’s fun watching her show them the food – and the water. She even tried to show them how to eat a sunflower seed. Too big for those little beaks yet! Her flock mates were intrigued. I placed a board along the floor to give her some privacy. She wasn’t that pleased when the flock lined up along the screen wall.
By mid-afternoon it seemed she was done with hatching and left the nest to look after the six that were popping about. I noticed that one of the remaining eggs had a little beak weakly pecking at its shell. A friend down the road is my ‘Chicken Doc’. Her advice was to wrap it up in a damp paper towel and deliver it pronto to her place to get a space in her incubator. Good luck little one!
I think ‘Chick TV’ is going to be the favoured channel around here for a while to come. Paddy and I will have to be on high alert to keep the two ‘newbie’ batches safe.
Good night from the Brahma Bunch and Audrey’s Oddballs. 😉
PS These two screened ‘windows’ are covered with towels at night to keep the Brahmas warm and toasty.