Our chicks have really grown up since the last time we posted about them a month ago. Here are a few of the Ameraucanas when they were three weeks old. They were so cute back then.
They were about twice as big as this white Silkie, even though they were the same age, and the feathers on one of the Ameraucanas began changing from a dark brown to white.
A couple weeks later, she had even more white feathers coming out.
Isn’t she adorable?
They’ve also started to fly. Every time we took the screen off the top of the brooder, some of the chicks would fly up to see what we were doing. This chick was usually the first one to check on us…and then she would often poop on the slow pokes that were still in the brooder. Naughty girl…
Not only are they extremely curious, they love to eat. In fact, it seems like they’re always eating…or they’re pecking and scratching at the ground, looking for something to eat. They especially like their grits. Well, it’s really crushed stone, but they act like it’s chocolate-covered worms.
They’re usually pushing, shoving, and walking over each other during feeding time, but, for just a moment, they were well behaved for this photo as they munched on their grits.
A couple of weeks ago, we started taking them outside. The two larger Silkies really enjoyed taking walks through the strawberry patch. They were a little cautious at first, but then they realized there were delicious bugs and worms all over the place. I think we enjoyed watching them eat the bugs more than they enjoyed eating them. I’ll show you why in our next post.
All of the chicks have outgrown their brooder, so they’ve moved into their new homes in the backyard.
The Ameraucanas are living in a new coop that was built by a local business, the Backyard Coop Company. The coop and run were a little expensive, but they’re made to last a long time and are large enough for a dozen or so chickens…not that we’ll ever have that many, but our small flock will definitely have plenty of room to stretch their wings when they need to.
The Silkies have their own place. They’re enjoying their new Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Hutch and Pen from Tractor Supply Company. We always prefer to buy locally-made products, but this was made in China and was significantly less expensive than the Ameraucanas’ green mansion. Unfortunately, we got what we paid for. It is a very poor quality coop and run that should only be used as a temporary shelter. Maybe it would be a good hospital coop for a sick or injured chicken, but I absolutely would NOT recommend this to anyone looking for a permanent home for their chickens.
Some of the more noteworthy events during the past month were two escape attempts. The first one occurred in the garage when the screen was not placed on the brooder correctly. During one of our regular chicken checks, we found one of our girls on top of the screen sunbathing under the heat lamp.
She looked like she just woke up…and she wasn’t all that happy about it either.
When I checked on the chicks this morning, I found the brown Silkie in the process of escaping from her run. At first I was just happy that I found her before one of our many local predators did, but then I wondered how she got out of the run. It didn’t take long to figure out that the door to the pen was partially open just enough for the small Silkies, but not enough for the larger ones. You can see her running away from the open door in this photo.
We got lucky this time, but we’re planning to put chicken wire over the top of the fenced-in area to keep out the bad guys just in case we have another lapse in security. Until then, we need to start checking and double-checking all of the coop and run doors to make sure they’re locked up tight before we leave.
- Peep Prep: What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chicks (blogher.com)
- One Family’s Story: Keeping Chickens in LA (apartmenttherapy.com)
- How to DIY Brooder….baby chicks arriving soon! (ahealthylifeforme.com)
- Babies!! (tikktok.wordpress.com)
- They are so FREAKIN’ cute! (ahealthylifeforme.com)
- Silkies! (thehappyhens.wordpress.com)
- Crazy. Completely Mad. (thehappyhens.wordpress.com)
- I Just Wanna Sex You Up! (tikktok.wordpress.com)
- Who has the silkiest ‘tocks of them all? (cuteoverload.com)
- I Almost Did Something Bad (tikktok.wordpress.com)