The way we do things around here is always with a fair amount of spontaneity. We get an idea and we just go for it. And why not? We’re all reasonably intelligent human beings, we can learn pretty fast. Thanks to the internet, it took me all but 10 minutes to learn to build the vermicomposter we’re working on this week, and maybe an hour of research to find the proper information we needed to care for some newly hatched chicks.
Yes, you heard me right, chicks. We picked out five little chicks at the lumber store the other day and brought them home with us. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do and we said, “not this year” because we are leaving for two months. You know what happens when I commit to not being able or ready to do something? I unconsciously move toward being able and/or ready.
“No, I’m not ready to be married.” Within a year, I was ready and married shortly thereafter.
“No, I don’t think we can afford a new puppy”. In a short amount of time we worked a puppy into our budget.
“No, I don’t think I can be a good mother to three children”. Within months I felt ready to welcome a new baby into our family.
“No, we can’t have chickens this year our summer schedule won’t allow it”. We’ve found ways around it and made it work for us.
I don’t know what it is… but I guess it’s just how I roll. I just find that I need to commit to the “here and now” before I can move on or take on a new endeavor. Make sense?
So… our chicks, Duckie, Tenders, Epic, Sasquatch, and Pteradactyl are the sweetest most precious little things! They are a week old and already I can see very different personalities. The kids are enjoying every minute of their time with these little birds. And I’ve found that my island has great community resources in regards to care, feeding, and butchering. Not that we’ll be butchering these particular girls… but if the need ever arose I guess we know where to go.
When we leave for our trip, there are a number of possibilities for the chicks. They will possibly be integrated into someone else’s flock and we’ll get them when we get home. (I’ve already received tons of good advice on this.) Or we may have to pass them on to a new family; which the boys are aware of and OK with since it’s better then leaving them to starve or become dinner.
Once they are ready to go outside, we need to work out building a raccoon proof coop and protection from above. Those chicken hawks and bald eagles apparently *love* chicken. And who wouldn’t? Look at this face!
I’ve seen a lot of people lose chicks for a variety of reasons, but one of those being household pets. Our goal is to lose none by way of cat or dog. The first thing we did was find a Rubbermaid bin with a locking cover. Then TJ cut out the middle and replaced it with some raccoon proof chicken fencing. They have air flow, they can’t get out, and most importantly the cat can’t get in! Wallah! A brood box!
I bought them the typical chick waterer and chick feeder. Of course since I got to the stand first, I got to pick the color. Purple it is! Someone told me to elevate the food and water a little so they can’t poop in it. After having chicks for a few days now, I do believe that this is a good idea!
I keep about 2 inches of pine shavings in the bottom of the brood box so their tiny feet can’t slip around. This is bad for their feet.
And just one more reason I love this island… the store we got our chicks from GAVE me enough food and pine shavings to last quite some time because theyw ere out of any small bags. I certainly didn’t need a 50 pound bag of chick starter. Totally amazing! I was really, really thankful and so is my budget.
So far these guys errr… girls are a riot! Duckie poops herself all the time. She’s the one I am constantly cleaning off. Hopefully, she can get a hold on that problem soon! Seriously girlfriend, that is not becoming of a lady. Tenders is a loner. She likes to sleep on the opposite end of the brood box as the other girls. Epic usually falls asleep standing up, and is the last to lay down. If any bird is standing Epic gets up. Pteradactyl is the biggest and she is trying her hardest “fly the coop”. She’s the feistiest of the bunch. Sasquatch is the tiniest bid. She’s everything you might expect in the runt. Sweet, good-natured, and bites! I think she is the one that chirps loudly when I am not ear the brood box.
Oh and one more thing… I think TJ is allergic! The first night we had the ladies home with us he went into fits of coughing and a little wheezing. Guess he’ll be rooting for their immediate growth so they can go outside!