Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 2011

April is almost over and Easter is here.  Wow!  Time sure does fly.
 And the chicks grew quickly.
First they get wing feathers.
Then they get little tail feathers.
Then the shoulder feathers start coming in and the wings fill in in-between.

 They began to jump and exercise their little wings.  They were jumping as high as the top of the box, though nobody actually flew out.  So I found a screen window from an old screen door and put it over the top of the box.  It fit perfectly.
 They were really filling up the box.  Look at the tail on that little chick.  These birds are so interesting because they are each completely different from the other in color and the way they feathers are marked.

I put a branch in a couple of holes I poked in the side of the box and they practiced perching.  At first they would jump from far away and they would miss or overshoot or be going so fast they wouldn't be able to balance.  After a couple of days they figured they could just step up onto it.  duh

They really are the cutest things!
Seems like they are saying, "mom, it's a little crowded in here."

OK, so we cleaned up the coop.  The big girls, aka hens, went to live in a special condo Dad made for them.  The big roost is hanging out outside where the rain and sun can do it's thing before I treat it.  Dad fixed the areas which had been leaking and we got the inside completely dry.  It was only wet in the corners where the water had soaked through the wood.  That's what my good man fixed.  We have had nothing but rain this spring so far so it is a great time to see if the fixes are working.  So far so good.

The kids were a little nervous at first.  They stayed in a huddle until one brave one stepped out, then several would follow.  Gradually they got so curious they were all exploring.  I put a cardboard corral in front of the concrete block to keep the warmth in and drafts out.  I used old salt bags to block drafts by stapling them to the walls.  Those bags are heavy duty.  And I love reusing stuff where ever possible.
They love to perch.  I put the perch close to the heat lamp so they could perch nap during the day. 

Then it was time to clean the brooder box and get new chicks.
 15 adorable little Buckeye chicks.

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