Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I think I really would have done a few things differently if I had another shot of this. But hey, we live and learn. So chick season is upon us! Tractor Supply and Southern states literally have bucket loads of day old chicks in store and we got suckered in! Laurence decided we needed 20 chickens so that we could actually start selling the eggs. Well ok fair enough, we bought extra 3 for a friend and another set of 6 for another friend and voila 29 chicks in our home made brooder. I had completely forgotten the fact we already own 3 other hens, but hey I assumed we may loose some along the way so 20 was a good starting number.
So we read all we could online, but essentially just made sure they constantly had fresh water, the heat lamp wasn’t to high or low and they food was always available. We opted to have them all vaccinated for Mareks as soon as possible. Knowing that it’s in our area.
Anyway, they were very cute and growing rapidly, we noticed one started to develop cross beak, but she was fine apart from that, we also took on one with a deformed leg and another with one eye. Here is scissor beak (now named Fiskar)
A few weeks later and we noticed another peep had stopped moving, we bought her inside and gave her electrolytes and monitored her over night, if she survived the night then my husband agreed to take her to work to ensure she drank every half hour.
Meet Maddy, the peep who not only survived the night but decided to squeak blue murder in my husbands office for the entire day forcing him to come home early before the boss found out!
Clearly feeling much better that evening !!
So after that, no more disasters, Lisa-left eye did not make it. Crazy leg and Fiskar were adopted by my friend to live on her farm and we were left with about 23 chicks in the end. By 8 weeks we desperately needed to get them out of the brooder as they were crammed and starting to fight, we rushed building the new coop but it was livable for now.
The chicks finally have freedom and enjoying the outside. They are now 16 weeks, so only a few more weeks to go before they start laying eggs. We are very excited and now fitting the nest boxes onto the coop. We suffered one loss so far to a predator only a few days ago, came home to find our affectionately known hen ‘Twat-face” with no head. We have since put up some more predator deterrents, but as we know, there are always downsides to having free ranging hens, and I am sure she wont be our last loss. But I much prefer to see our chickens happily running around the land and eating the ticks that would other wise be on me!!