Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chick nuggets

Yippeeeeeee!!!!  This is what I saw when I ran downstairs this morning....lotsa fluff and eggshells:
A closer look.....Don't worry, the little guy or gal is ok, just pooped from struggling to get out of the shell and taking a breather while drying off in the warm incubator:
Look closely below and see a fluffy, dry chick on the left and on the right, a chick on its way out of the shell.  Just left of that egg there is an egg that is "pipping."  See the little hole in the shell?  That chick is just starting to break its shell. 
I worked quickly with the incubator almost under the heat lamp so damp chicks would not get chilled, and removed 15....count 'em, 15!....dry chicks.  I dipped each one's beak in the warm water I'd set up with some raw apple cider vinegar in it.  This was to show them how to find water, since they don't have a hen mom to show them.
This precocious baby already found the food and was pecking away.  The noise brought a few siblings over.  They learn pretty quickly!
More later about how I set up my brooder and what I'm feeding my chicks this year....once they are all out, I'll take pictures of the brooder. 

Raising chicks is pretty easy, and there are lots of young chicks available at feed stores.  Many urban and suburban communities allow people to keep a limited number of hens in their backyards, and you can easily build a small portable house with an attached pen to move around your yard, keeping them safe from predators.  This also is less expensive than building a coop and fencing a larger area, and is easy to sell should you decide that chickens are not for you.  Search for "chicken tractor" online, that is what these portable coops are called.

Anyone else raising chicks this year?


  1. YAY! They are adorable!! CongratS!!!

  2. They're so cute! Congratulations!

  3. Fluff balls are adorable....I just stand there and stare and stare.....chick therapy, we call it!

  4. We will get 52 day olds from McMurray the 2nd of May. I saw you said you pick ACV in their water. I do hope it's not in that galvanized waterer in one picture. It will leach the zinc into the water.

    We use portable coops for the broilers in the summer. The layers have a permanent coop and pen. With all the predators here, it's best to be safe, not sorry.

  5. No worries, what you see in the picture is the top of the heat lamp. The waterers iuse are plastic, and when the chicks get bigger I switch to a small rubber feed pan with a brick in it (to prevent accidental drowning should a chick fall in.) As they get bigger, I take the brick out, then ultimately switch over to an open 2 gallon pail. This is so much easier to deal with than the standard chicken waterers.

  6. Oh, I have chicken jealousy, lol. I would love to raise chickens, but just don't have the room (nor do I have a husband with the right mindset to allow it, lol). Curse city life. I'll have to stick to my gardening, and hope that some day I'll have the opportunity.

  7. Be patient, Neko! We started out gardening behind our apartment building. I pointed out every beautiful field and barn when we were in the car going anywhere and oooh'd and ahhhh'd wistfully. Suddenly, here we were, with four acres of thorns and trash trees and no topsoil....and priced right. Now we have a beautiful and efficient homestead, always improving. Hang in there!