Lovingly Posted by Melissa Monday, April 5, 2010
Happily, Thursday night, Kyle and I got the extra large brooder ready to go and picked up a couple fifty pound bags of chick starter. We cleaned up the water fonts and layed down an old sheet over the shavings to help prevent the chicks from eating it during their first day or so. So, once we returned from picking them up, we got their fonts filled with slightly-sugared, warm water and went about dipping each chick's beak in the water.
We didn't bother counting them- although I wish we had now, just so we know exactly how many we ended up with. But it is alot of peeping chicks. Looks like the layers are a combination of Red Stars, Buff Orpingtons, and Rhode Island Reds...just guessing by their coloring as we had no option to request certain breeds with this 'Hungry Man Special'. I'm really looking forward to increasing our egg production and all three of those breeds would be a welcome addition to our farm.
Already, a mere three days later, they are noticably larger and have more feathers. The broilers are the biggest, which is to be expected, and I'm hoping that in a couple weeks we'll be able to move them outside. The layers will probably live in the brooder slightly longer, but pretty much as soon as everyone is feathered in they'll be sent outside to live. The brooder we've got them in is plenty roomy enough for 75-80 chicks, it is nowhere near big enough for 75-80 adolescent birds!
Its nice to have new additions on the farm again, especially ones with such promise. A few pennies per pound in grain (until the grass really starts growing) and we'll be set for chicken for the year and eggs for years to come. I love it here.