Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pecking Order

I just ordered and received 100 chicks from Ideal Poultry here in Texas. They are shipped out on wednesdays and arrive at the Martindale Post Office the next day. Baby chicks can survive up to two or three days without eating or drinking right after hatching due to the egg sac retained inside of their abdomen. This makes them perfect candidates for shipping by mail. My very special order called " The Pullet Surprise" consisted of an equal number of Barred Rocks, Production Reds, Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds. I spotted the Barred Rocks immediately, since I already have 50 two week olds in another brooder that I purchased 2 weeks ago from Cackle Hatchery. For the newcomer Chick care is relatively simple. Always remember these 4 basic but important elements.

  • Brooder
  • Food
  • Water
  • Heat

 Hot days and sore toes

The weather  has been really warm this month with the temperatures soaring as high as 103 by late noon so the chicks just need the heat lamps turned on at night when it cools down. That really helps out with the electric bill. The two week old's do not get heat at night I just cover their brooder. Everyone of these little bundles of fuzz has its own little distinct personality. There is always that bully in the flock and of course the little runt. I observed The Bully (a Rhode Island Red) running around pulling on little toes until they screamed bloody murder. I went over several times to separate bullys beak from the toes of his latest victim. He has a strong grip for such a young age. I did not separate Bully from the flock because there always will be bullys and they have to live with each other. That pecking order is being established from day one and is necessary to determine who is the boss chicken and who is the low man on the totem pole and where all the rest fit in between.

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