Birthday celebrations continue at our house – the chicks are now 1 week old!
The entire family has enjoyed observing the antics of our newest and smallest members of the household and we all often stop to admire the chicks for a couple minutes every time we walk past their brooder. D&K’s Dad mentioned he watched the chicks trying to rearrange themselves at nighttime so that they could sleep touching each other.
The chicks still don’t have names yet and we’ve simply taken to calling them “the grey one” and “the yellow one”. On rare occasions (I think it’s been twice since their hatching) I let D&K hold the chicks. K’s most recent attempt was much better and she let “the grey one” walk on her lap and jump on her arm. K wasn’t even phased when “the grey one”, and later “the yellow one”, pooped on her – she thought it was hilarious 🙂 D on the other hand was slightly perturbed that “the yellow one” wouldn’t sit still on his lap.
5 ways the chicks changed in a mere week:
- They have feathers! Seriously. These little creatures grow lightening fast and they already had pin feathers starting to appear at 3 days old! Now, “the yellow one” has significant feather grow on his/her wings and much of the down has fallen away from that area. “The grey one” is losing the down on his/her wing area as well and dark pin feathers are starting to grow in.
- They LOVE fermented feed! Every day I put a cup of both fermented chick feed and regular dry chick feed in their brooder. The fermented feed is usually the first dish that’s cleaned up. We’ve tried giving them some treats like sprouted mung beans, sauerkraut, and kale but it’s the fermented chick feed that always has them coming back for more.
- “The yellow one” is trying to perch! Originally, we had the traditional long chick feeder in the brooder but “the yellow one” kept perching on top of it and pooping in the feed. We’ve switched out the chick feeder for some cheap, BPA-free, plastic containers because they won’t be able to perch on them and foul up their food.
- Full size and Bantam size birds can get along! At least so far… “The yellow one” is a White Chantecler who will grow to be a full-sized chicken. “The grey one” is a Silkie which is a bantam breed (aka mini chicken) who will grow but will also be significantly smaller than “the yellow one”. Through my research I’ve found that bantams and full-size birds don’t always get along – mostly because the bantams get picked on. In the first 24 hours of life, “the yellow one” did end up pecking at “the grey one”‘s eye and so they were separated for 12 hours. Separation, combined with lowering the heat in the brooder a couple degrees, seemed to clear up the bad behaviour and the chicks have been inseparable since. Finger’s crossed their bond will carry into adulthood 🙂
- They’re learning to scratch! The addition of pine shavings to their brooder helped tremendously. At first though, we were waiting to see some of those characteristic chicken traits from the chicks but they mainly just walked around, ate and slept. It took a couple of days for the chicks to learn how to scratch at the ground but once they got the hang of it, there’s clearly no stopping them! This is probably my most favourite chicken characteristic I’ve witness emerge yet because I know the scratching is going to be such a massive help in our vegetable gardens this year… once the garden’s are harvested of course 😉