1 Something is going on at the chicken pen - these chickens and geese are wondering what the commotion is.
2 This rooster was especially curious about all the visitors to the chicken coops.
3 Roosters are very vigilant of their hens.
4 All the fuss was over the cute chicks delivered to the farm yesterday by Traci Torres, founder of My Pet Chicken. Phurba, who takes care of all my poultry, gently carried the box of baby chicks to the coop. http://www.mypetchicken.com
5 One of my four coops was set up just for the chicks. A cardboard brooder protects the chicks from drafts while also providing ample ventilation. It is big enough so they can move out from under the heat lamps if they wish. Rounded brooders prevent them from getting stuck in corners.
6 Some of these images may appear tinted red because of the two heat lamps suspended above the brooder. Red heat bulbs shine darker than white heat bulbs, making it more comforting for the chicks to sleep. Raising and lowering the lamps will help adjust the temperature.
7 These are the colors of the eggs these chicks will produce - a rich brownish-red to cream to white, and pastel light blue to strikingly bold olive green.
8 Traci brought 40 rare breed chicks to the farm. This group includes Lavender Orpingtons, Black Orpingtons, Black Copper Marans, Buff Brahmas, Silver Spangled Hamburgs, Mille Fleur d'Uccle Bantams, Cream Legbars, Jubilee Orpingtons, and Olive Eggers.
9 The chick with the chipmunk stripe down its head is a female Cream Legbar. These chickens are chatty, and curious. They are also one of the most popular auto-sexing chicken breeds in the world.
10 These chicks all have clear eyes and are very alert - signs of good health. This is a Silver Spangled Hamburg chick. These birds are petite, active and very faithful layers.
11 The Silver Spangled Hamburg has a cheerful personality, especially when allowed to forage on open range.
12 This is a Black Orpington chick. It's a very large breed, and naturally friendly. They are very good layers and produce pinkish cream colored eggs.
13 This is a Jubilee Orpington chick. This breed was named to mark the 1897 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is a very large bird and a prolific layer.
14 Each chick was introduced to the waterer, so they know where to drink. Since they are nearly three weeks old, they are all familiar with waterers and feeders, but it is still a good practice when they're moved to new surroundings. Most baby birds are lost because they don't eat or drink.
15 Usually after one chick finds the water source, the others will follow, but be observant and make sure they are all able to access their water and food.
16 These chicks took to the waterers quickly. After the ride to the farm, they were pretty thirsty, and hungry. The important thing is to not use open dishes - chicks can drown easily. Open dishes also encourage wading, which will be extra messy.
17 The water is replaced several times a day to keep the supply clean, and the chicks healthy. The best type of waterer is one made specially for chicks, so several can drink at once. Waterers come in many sizes and shapes.
18 On average, about 10-chicks can consume approximately one-pound of chick starter feed per day. For 40-chicks, that adds up to four pounds of chick starter feed per day.
19 A good chick starter feed will contain protein for weight gain and muscle development, plus vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and to build their immune systems.
20 These chicks have several feeders and several waterers in the brooder. Soon this chick will realize there's no need to "wait in line to eat."
21 The chicks will be fed organic chick starter feed for the first six to eight weeks.
22 Some chick starter crumbles are put down on the newspaper to help introduce the birds to their food and direct them to the feeders.
23 This is another type of feeder that also allows several chicks to eat at the same time.
24 The chicks were eager to explore their new surroundings.
25 All birds love to roost, even from a very young age. This one is trying to roost on the feeder.
26 Chickens have their own personalities - some are more active or more curious than others.
27 It's hard not to notice this chick's large feet, but it won't take long before this bird grows into them.
28 Baby chicks need constant monitoring until they are at least a month old. Phurba will check on them several times a day for the next few weeks.
29 After about a month, the chicks will get access to more floor space.
30 These chicks are almost three weeks old, but they will grow quickly. At around five weeks old, they can go outside.
31 At this age, it is important to watch their behavior - if they huddle together under one heat source, they are cold. And, if they are all gathered at the edges, avoiding the heat and one another, they're too warm.
32 Chicks need about two-square feet per chick when in the brooder, so they have ample space to move around. It may sound like a lot at first, but as they grow, it becomes more understandable.