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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Chicks

Well... It seems Blogger is still púca. It is so irritating. One so-called fix is to install Chrome. No thanks. I tried it on my tablet and did not like it at all. I uploaded the photos to Photobucket. Click on the links below to see the little boogers. they should come up in a separate window you will have to close manually.

Edit: Since the IE browser was nationally announced to be "bad", I went to Chrome, though I do not care for it. Amazingly, the photo options now work. All recent posts will be updated.

On Day 1, the chicks drank a lot of water, but little chick starter. At first, it worried me. I then remembered they take a day or two before they eat much. They also pooped little. When I had 2 parakeets, they pooped more than the 4 chicks. Maybe I was lucky?

Silly me.

Yesterday, the Poop Fairy came. Only one had a "pasty butt", quickly taken care of with a warm, wet paper towel held to it's rear then gently wiped. It did not mind being gently blow-dried on a low setting. I found spooning the litter over fresh poops on the mesh under the water or the board it sits on, sucks/dries it up quickly. I have 2 plastic spoons. One is for stirring the mixture of peat and pine shavings around and to cover fresh poop to quicken pushing it off a surface. The other is for lifting out poop in their food. I use my fingers for the pine shavings in their food.

I have to do this 3 times a day. Same for the shavings that get in their water. The waterer is slightly lifted on a board set on a piece of plastic canvas. I did not have a piece of wire mesh handy. The plastic canvas works just fine. I may have a piece with bigger holes to substitute for easier cleaning. I have to go through my stuff. The mesh helps the dribbles to dry faster. I found tipping the waterer sideways with the hole-side up over the sink (with a mesh covering on the drain to catch poop and shavings), then rinsing the dish works quickly and easily. I completely turn it upside down to remove the dish and refill the waterer after cleaning out the dish.

I am sure this is normal for those familiar with raising chickens. I had one very cranky cockatiel and parakeets. One of the parakeets had babies bringing those up to 11 for a while. I had to give them away. Yes, Himself is allergic to bird feathers. He is not allergic to eating chickens or the eggs, though. Until the chicks go outside after getting their feathers, he may have to take antihistamines for a bit. He is a good guy. Getting eggs and meat in return is worth the short time inside the house.

One was leaping at the sides this morning. I will have to either tape a cardboard barrier around the tub or put a tall side netting soon. I have lentils sprouting for them, By time the sprouts are ready, they will be over a week old. Treats are not needed from what I read. I gave fresh greens to my birds before and they enjoyed them. I read the chicks can have meal worms and other things within a few weeks. I know they get these things normally right from the start when they first go out with their mom-hen. I am the substitute, so being rather careful.

They are getting their wing feathers. One likes for me to stroke it's breast. Most do not like head stroking from head to tail yet. I want to be able to handle them easily. I have a small can for putting a dab of their feed in to shake before pouring. They learn to come running eventually, being food-motivated. I want to get them inside their coop easily and quickly when we move it back by the house every night. I cannot leave it out in the meadow overnight. We have all the normal predators, ones that most people do not have, like eagles, wolves, bears, wolverines and badgers. The latter two rarely come around people areas. When one has chickens, that can change. The area by the house will have barriers buried to keep the digging varmints out. Of course, the coop will be fully enclosed in wire mesh to keep out even mice. There is a motion-sensor light that will flash on anything that comes into the area. I may add Halloween blinking red eye lights at night. The illusion is said to help keep away many of the varmints.

It looks like I will be able to start getting the garden beds in the meadow ready to plant. I need to finish the other beds, too, getting the nutrients forked in to ready for planting. I had used 2 mil plastic the last two years on the garden hoops. This year we bought the 4 mil. It seems to last 1 year for each mil. I will cover the hoops after keeping the beds ready and watering well. I am creating little hothouses or greenhouses. I will be able to start the various vegetables much sooner than normal for our area. Lifting the plastic to water is easy. I use the clips to hold the plastic out of the way, then put them back. It will cut down on pests, too. I am hoping the chickens will get a good amount around the parameter of the gardens when out in their run. I am still going to plant turnips around the edges. Cut worms and similar love them. I can pull up the turnip filled with the things and feed it to the chickens. Win-win. Most tell one to use potatoes. I had no (knocking on wood), damage in our potatoes, always the turnips. Go with what works, yes?

That is it for now.

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