Saturday, May 12, 2018

Chicken Fever

I mentioned in a post about a month ago that we had added some adorable fluffiness to our homestead!  I'm now - finally - dedicating a post just to these little (well, not so little anymore!) balls of cuteness.

We knew for awhile that this was going to be the year to add to our flock.  So, once we got home from Spring Break, the kids and I took a trip to the store and picked out 8 fluffy little babies to bring home.  We got 2 each of - Barnevelders, Black Australorps, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and Golden Comets.  All four of these are breeds that we've never had before and I'm pretty excited to add different colors/breeds to our flock!

    

Jason transformed our kids old playhouse into a brooder for them in the garage.  There are four crucial things that you need when raising baby chicks - food, water, heat, and a place for them to escape the heat.  Chicks need lots of heat when they're babies, but they also need the ability to get away from the heat if need be.

    

A week after we got our chicks Jason had to go out of town for business.  Ashlyn and I took a trip to our local Tractor Supply for chicken food and what do I find there?  Easter Egger chicks!!!!  Now, for those of you not familiar with chicken breeds, Easter Eggers are an adorable breed with puffy, chipmunk-like cheeks and will (generally) lay eggs in light shades of blue or green.  I've been really wanting some of these chicks.  So, I did what any chicken-loving wife would do.  I called Jason and begged.  #noshame  Guess what?  Our brooder grew by four :)


I mean - LOOK AT THESE CHEEKS!!!


I was a little nervous about introducing the new babies in with the other chicks but, thankfully, since they were only a week apart, the integration went smoothly. 


And they all cuddle in a big pile of fluff.


One of our Golden Comets battled pasty butt pretty badly for a few weeks.  Pasty butt is a common issue among chicks.  It's basically when poop sticks to a chicks vent.  I know, not the most glamorous thing, no one ever said chickens were glamorous animals :)  But, she got lots of TLC and after many treatments, she's good as new.  You can read more about pasty butt and how to treat it here.


For the first few weeks we used puppy pads in their brooder.  It was the first time we had done this and I must say, cleanup was super easy!  But, once we were through the package of puppy pads, we filled the brooder with pine shavings, which is what we use in our chicken coop.  Jason also added a small roosting bar for them which they love.

    

They have really grown in the past four weeks and were beginning to get a little crowded in their brooder.  So, Jason took our old dog kennel we used when Oliver was a puppy and put it up against the door of the playhouse.  Voila!  A second wing to The Hayes Homestead Brooder :)

    

The girls are getting louder and stinkier the longer that they are in the garage.  We are patiently waiting for them to get a couple weeks older so we can serve them their eviction notice and move them out to the coop with Libby Mae and Bork.  We've got our fingers crossed that's an easy transition!

Cheep Cheep,
~ Sara :)

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