Aquaponic Chickens – Their First 10 Days

It’s been ten days since our new chicks arrived and we haven’t killed any of them yet.  Not that I expect to, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if we did.

It’s mid-morning and they’re relaxing in their heated brooder after eating a hearty breakfast. They also have a guest, probably one of the sisters of our largest Silkie.  Kim’s friend got two Silkies from the same place about a day or so before we got ours.  Unfortunately, one of them was eaten by something while they were in her backyard, at least that’s what everyone suspects.  All that was left was a bunch of feathers scattered in the grass when she returned home.  Poor chick.

Anyway, she asked us to chicken-sit for her until after Easter, so now our babies have a new friend to play with…or run from, depending on her mood.

We are supplementing their feed by giving them meal worms as a treat, so when our hand gets near them the largest Silkie gets excited because she thinks she’s getting another treat.  Here she is sticking her head up right before…

…she runs to us to search, peck, and demand some treats…silly girl.  You don’t suppose she’s a little spoiled, do you?

Here she is again, posing for the camera.

This is our brown, baby Silkie.  She’s one of the smallest chicks in the flock and often gets pushed out of the way by the others when it’s feeding time.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s no wallflower.  She climbs on their heads if she needs to, but her size makes it difficult for her to get the treats before all the others.

Here’s one of our Ameraucanas at about two weeks of age.  Isn’t she beautiful?  If they all keep growing at this pace, we’ll need another brooder soon.

 

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33 Responses to Aquaponic Chickens – Their First 10 Days

  1. I will be getting some more chickens soon as well. I want to try using their waste to create a “tea” to raise the duckweed on for my Tilapia.

    • That’s a good idea. I’ve been thinking about growing duckweed for the Tilapia, but I’ve heard it could get trapped and die in the grow bed liner, pipes, and pump. If this happens, it could raise the ammonia levels to dangerous levels. What do you think? Is it worth the risk?

      • My plan is to pelletize the duckweed so it wouldnt be any different than other food. But in the mean time I will just make sure my pre-filters are adequate for preventing any clogs or entanglements. I have been using it in my 90 gallon aquarium for about a year now. I had some trouble at first, but once I figured out how to keep it out of the filter, it is fine.

  2. Nicole Brait says:

    I’m glad your babies are doing well.

  3. We just said goodbye to our chickens today! I can’t wait until we’ve moved, settled in, and can add some new ones to our new homestead! I would love to have a nice variety like you have! In the past we’ve just done all the brown hens but I’d like a rainbow of eggs in the future. 😉

    • That must have been tough. Before you know it, you’ll have a new flock of chicks running all over the place. I’m very happy to hear that you’re finally moving. I’ve been reading your blog and have felt like I’ve been going through the ups and down with you and your family. Can’t wait to see photos of your new home.

  4. lifehomemade says:

    So excited for you to get your chicks! My chickens started training me two summers ago when we had them just for the summer. I needed to learn a bunch about them – but it was the most satisfying experience – and for the chickens who were spoiled beyond belief! My son would search for grasshoppers, and any other kinds of bugs to feed them, and hand pick loads of raspberries for them! Enjoy!

    • That’s funny. We are definitely trained now too.

      Our three-year-old son does the same thing. He loves to find bugs and feed them to his chicks. Hopefully, he’ll always have wonderful memories of his chicks, fish, dogs, and worms. I think he likes the worms the best 🙂

  5. They are so cute! We are thinking about taking the chicken leap ourselves. Glad to hear they are doing well.

  6. The phrase “a face only a mother could love” springs to mind when I see your white silke with neck extended, but then again, she really is a cutie.

    What’s your friend going to do with her lone silke? Chickens are flock animals and really aren’t happy living alone. Are you going to give her the sibling from your brood? I’ve heard it’s good to keep a minimum of 3 hens because if one dies (I’m afraid it’s not that uncommon) you still have a “flock”. And that adding a new hen to an existing flock can be really hard (especially on the newcomer who can be pecked literally to death). I do hope she discovers what the hazard is to her chickens because if something out there has developed a taste for silkes, it will be back for more.

    • That’s what I’m afraid of too. We were planning to give her our Silkie, but now we’re second guessing ourselves. Thanks for the advice. We’ll talk to her after the holiday and see what we can work out.

      Yea, our big Silkie is a little scraggly right now, but we think she’s beautiful. Love is blind 🙂

  7. We must recognize that these are the most beautiful chickens that we saw.
    Especially the white one.
    Greetings from Croatia.

  8. LOVE the pics! I’ve got to get some chickens again soon! I look forward to seeing how yours progress.

  9. babso2you says:

    Look at the size of the foot on that Ameraucana! Do they grow into these?

  10. narf77 says:

    Thank you for liking my post on Serendipity Farm. I just HAD to check your blog out when I saw first “Aquaponic Family” and then the post “Aquaponic Chickens”. I had all sorts of visions of chickens and snorkels but it appears you are not going down that path (lol!) Love the blog and the idea and how you are picking yourselves up from what has happened in your life and being proactive rather than reactive. I think I might just follow your blog. We haven’t managed to set up our aquaponic system yet but I have been trawling the net for all sorts of information. Joel Malcolm (in Western Australia where I used to live) set up an amazing aquaponics system and business from nothing. It’s something that allows anyone to set up a food/plant producing system no matter how much space they have. Have you ever been to the Instructable site? It has heaps of information about how to do just about everything yourself. There is a really good aquaponics vertical system for people to make and you might be interested in it.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-vertical-aquaponic-veggie-fish-farm-for-/

    Again, love the blog and will be following you to see just how those Chickens take to their new home 🙂 I wish I could get some Ameraucana hens here

    • Yes, Joel Malcolm from BackyardAquaponics.com is amazing. His website has been very educational and inspirational. Thanks for the link to instructables. We’ve been talking about setting up a vertical system to make best use of the space that we have, so this information will be very useful. By the way, I love reading your blog!

      • narf77 says:

        Cheers (blush) The blog is a way to release all of those country stresses or you might see the results (read mushroom cloud) all the way over there in the USA! Having been left Serendipity Farm in my dads will and having turned from urban horticulturalists with nice pristine secateurs that never did much more than “snip” on a monthly basis into raving bush pig sustainability and permaculture devotees who have a crazy desire to effect change on our 4 acre jungle and start an edible forest garden going. I think we have caught a fever or something and one day we are going to wake up and scare the pants off ourselves with everything that we have started! Oh well…if you don’t start something, you never get the satisfaction of stopping! 😉

  11. blessedfellers says:

    Hey there! Thanks for “liking” my posts about our chicken adventures. So glad you are loving your chicks, too. Who knew chickens could be so fun and entertaining for the entire family? Have you had to cover your tank yet? If not, those cuties will be trying to perch on the upper edge soon, so you might want to start thinking of a way to cover it to keep them safely inside. They grow so fast!

    • Yes, we had to put some hardware cloth over the top, because one of them almost flew out. She had her head over the top of the brooder as she flapped her wings for all she was worth. They are growing way too fast.

  12. CurtissAnn says:

    Such a delight to see your brood started! Amazing the effect chickens have on us. I, too, continue to be a little surprised not to have yet killed mine. Thanks for the photos, reminding me what the chicks look like at the beginning.

  13. They’re beautiful! I love the different breeds and how quirky each chick is.

    I’m guessing I’ll need a bigger brooder once mine get larger too!

  14. Oh wow, that last photo of your Ameraucana is just beautiful. I can’t wait to see mine, now I’m really glad I ended up getting her. I went in to the feed store today to get one last chick (a Welsummer) and my husband had really wanted an easter egger…so I grabbed one of them as well. We got pullets, so 90% sure they’re all little girls, but if not he’s happy to try his hand at butchering.

    • Welsummers have a very good reputation. Hopefully we’ll get one or two next year. The Ameraucanas are so beautiful and friendly. You made two great choices.

      I’m afraid that I’ll be butchering or selling about half of ours as soon as they start crowing, but I’m not going to be too happy about it 😦 Maybe your husband would like to take a trip to Georgia? 🙂

      • hahaha he prob. would. But yeah, I’m with you in that department…not a fan of the killing. He thinks our 4 1/2 yr old is going to be able to handle it…she’s a smart cookie, and she understands that we’re going to eat the boys, but I told him if she sees it then he has to deal with the emotional backlash!

  15. luhu123 says:

    chicks grow very fast! can’t they grow slow for us? just so we can spend more time with them inside!

  16. weezmccarty says:

    Love hearing about and seeing pictures about your chickens. We are two weeks behind you with our first chickens ever. Our coop needs a few tweaks to be finished… Just in time cause they’ve almost outgrown their bathtub brooder.

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