August 28, 2013
The Arrival Of New Chicks!
You may recall a recent blog posting, where Phurba Sherpa, who takes care of my chickens so well, was getting the coop ready for a new delivery of chicks. On August 15th, Traci Torres, of My Pet Chicken, delivered 38 chicks - the next generation of layers.
1 These are the gals from My Pet Chicken - Victoria Bertrand, the Project Manager and Traci Torres, the CEO.
2 They're delivering a peeping box of chicks to my chicken coop.
3 Most of these chicks were about 4 days old when delivered. They originated from My Pet Chicken Hatchery in Ohio.
4 Normally, when receiving newly hatched chicks, they need a lesson in drinking. This is done by dipping their bills into the water. However, these chicks had already learned that lesson so dipping was unnecessary.
5 This chick is a Cream Legbar, which lays beautiful blue eggs. This happens to be one of the most highly sought after, and rarest breeds in this country.
6 This is a Black Copper Marans, which lays deep, rich, nearly chocolate brown eggs.
7 Introducing an Easter Egger Bantam, an excellent layer of blue and green eggs. They are often incorrectly called Ameraucanas or Araucanas.
8 The 38 little chicks quickly adapted to their new surroundings.
9 This Cream Legbar went right for the water.
10 Birds of a feather..... - The cardboard enclosure is called a brooder and it contains the chicks, forcing them to huddle beneath the all-important hanging heat lamps.
11 The chicks quickly found their food, as well. Their diet is a nutritious organic chick starter, formulated with everything these little birds need to grow into healthy layers.
12 You can estimate that 10 chicks will consume about a pound of starter feed per day.
13 Chickens start to lay eggs about 4 or 5 months of age. Young chickens are called pullets and pullets lay small-size eggs.
14 Chickens lay best during their first year and each year after that, their production decreases.
15 Daylight affects egg laying and summer is the high laying season. In the winter, with fewer daylight hours, egg production drastically decreases.
16 During long daylight hours, a healthy young hen, bred for egg-laying, can lay almost an egg a day!
17 A common misconception about chickens is that you need roosters for hens to lay eggs. Chickens lay eggs just fine without roosters. However, if roosters are present, the eggs may be fertilized.
18 This is what the chicks look like 10 days after delivery. They're growing very nicely.
19 You can see that this Easter Egger Bantam is beginning to form feathers.
20 The baby chicks are also having fun playing with one another. They are very curious and love to investigate their space.
21 During the first week, the temperature in the brooder was 95-degrees. Each week, the heat lamps are raised, lowering the temperature by 5-degrees.
22 They certainly have grown a lot in 10 days! After about a month, these young hens can be placed in their outdoor location and start to eat regular chicken food called layer feed.