I could pretty much sit around all day long and watch baby chicks do their thing. They are incredibly dumb in terms of animal intelligence, but their kooky antics and distinct personalities have captured my heart in ways I never imagined (insert "aww" here).
When first embarking on this adventure, I was open to the idea of raising them to be both "layers" and "broilers" - I'm sure you can figure out what that means. Eat their eggs and then eat them when they stop laying eggs. But no, I now know that I am incapable of eating these silly creatures. I may swear off chicken altogether again - what can I say! I'm a big softie.
My goal is to take pictures of them everyday in an effort to document their crazy growth, and well, because you just can't have enough pictures of cute baby chickens.
I brought them home on Thursday, March 19th. I took a late lunch break at work and picked them up from the hardware store along with all the items necessary to brood them indoors: starter feed, waterer, heat lamp, and pine bedding. Unfortunately, my boss didn't want me to have them in the office because he had an afternoon meeting - I couldn't understand this at first and thought he was being lame, but then after thinking about it, I don't think I'd want my nutty employee to be bringing farm animals to work either, so I gave him a break.
So, I decided to set them up in a cardboard box outside next to the small shed we have on the side of our building. After getting them settled, I would go check on them every 15 minutes or so. After about 45 minutes, I went to check on them only to discover a wretched Stellar Jay IN THE BOX TRYING TO FLY OFF WITH ONE OF MY CHICKS. I screamed and yelled and it instantly dropped who we now know as McNugget, fortunately not injuring her, but holy cow, making me feel like the WORST MOTHER ON THE PLANET. At that very moment, husband calls while I'm frantically trying to make sure everyone still has all their eyeballs and feathers - I'm hysterical, so he offers to come by and pick them up for me since I'm obviously not going to get any friggin work done for the rest of the day.
Trixie, Egg Carton (aka Box), Peep, and McNugget are all now quite accustomed to their new home and are making great strides in the world of chicken maturation. Their wings have grown over an inch in the last seven days, and their tail feathers popped out two days ago. I found an ant on the floor the other day and mistakenly gave it to one of the girls and have now created four monsters that demand bugs all day long. I have awoken their killer instincts.
We have moved up the ranks in terms of dwellings three times now: their original home was a file box, then they moved into a large rubbermaid tub, and yesterday, they got some new digs in the form of a GIANT moving box. They are demanding little buggers. They throw their food everywhere, are total pigs, and toss their bedding in their waterer just so that they can watch me clean it out again. I think they find it amusing.
Since I didn't get a very good start in the poultry mothering arena, Blue has decided to step in and take over for me.
Barker took one look at the girls and then took a nap. The cats will be introduced when the chicks have fully developed beaks and claws and are moved into the barrow.