Sunday, February 15, 2009

chick update

The chicks are growing and pecking and chirping. You can sure tell the difference between the cornish cross and the heritage breed chicks.

These are buff orpington chicks. They're starting to get wing feathers (look at the tips of the wings for a difference in texture) and weigh about half what...

...these cornish cross chicks do. They're growing fast enough that it looks like they're half-bald, but that's just because the feathers don't grow near as fast as their body does. They start out with as many feathers as the other birds, but the speed of growth makes them look like they're half-bald. You'll see more of this later.

Here's a bin of white leghorns and buff orpingtons. When i take a picture like this it looks like the chicks are stacked in on top of each other. There's actually plenty of room -- they just like to be in a group. The other end of the bin is empty

The white leghorns are my favorite chicken. They're flighty and excitable, but you can see the wheels turning in their little heads. Here, a white leghorn chick checks me out. I believe that the white leghorns are the smartest chickens.
I know that they're the most likely to find any hole in their pen, the first to figure out where the food is, and they do excellently at pasture. They are aggressive foragers and they cannot be beaten for egg laying.

Chicks require heat and protection for the first 4 to 6 weeks of their life, until their feathers grow out. I've found that these tubs make changing the litter under the birds easier and allow us to deal with different bird sizes. Bigger chickens or turkeys will monopolize the food and water and pick on the younger birds, so we keep them strictly segregated by age to make sure that we raise a consistent batch of healthy chicks.


Shannon said...

Hello -
My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy but I have decided that I would like to have chickens. I have found a coop that I will be bringing home tomorrow. I am still in the process of reading up on hens and I am still looking for some to purchase? I found your blog through a google search and I am very interested in purchasing from you if possible. I live in Lake Stevens so your location is very convenient! Can you please provide me more information regarding when these chicks will be available.

Bruce King said...

Chickens are great fun, and the eggs are good, too!

What I sell as far as chickens is started laying hens. So I'll sell them to you after they've been brooded for 6 weeks, old enough that they don't need additional heat and you can put them into your coop directly, up to the point-of-lay, where they're either already laying or will start to lay eggs very soon.

Right now I have day old chicks that are $3 each, straight-run, barred rock and rhode island reds, or 6 week old buff orpington hens that are $8 each. The day-old chicks will require a heat lamp and being inside for 6 weeks, the 6 week old birds are ready to go into a coop.

If you'd like to give me a call, you can reach me at 206 940 4980