The baby chicks have moved in! We have six of them, I wish I could formally introduce them but I can't because I haven't chosen names, mainly because I can't tell them apart. If I would have to guess I would say this one's name will be Mathilda and one below will be Felicity. They are, without a doubt, the most adorable animals I've ever laid my eyes on. The kids are so excited about them and we played with them for most of the afternoon. They will grow fast now, so I need to finish off their coop over the next couple of weeks. For now they are in the brooding stage, there home is inside under a heat lamp, in a rubbermade container .. classy home. See below for a quick tutorial on how to set up a brooder.Here's Felicity, remember how I said I wasn't going to name them, and now I have all of the sudden.
Here's a photo of their brooder. You can use a rubbermade or an aquarium, some even use cardboard boxes, but that screams fire hazard to me with the 250 degree heat lamp that is necessary. The box should be 100 degrees the first week and 5 degrees less each week until they are full feathered. The chicks will huddle together under the lamp if they are too cold, and they will move to the other end of the box if they are too warm. You should place the food and water at the end opposite of the heat lamp. Chick starter and water is available at all times. The bed is covered in newspaper and pine chips. Using cedar chips can be toxic to the chicks, so pine is the way to go. Word on the street is that they love scratching at this stuff and things can get really dusty .. I'll let you know how that goes. So far we have been greatly entertained by them pecking at each other, pushing one another off the feeder, and cuddling under the lamp. After about 20 weeks they will start laying eggs and I will be eating freshly laid eggs every morning!