Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken nursery renos

If you have come to know Kim at all through this blog you'll know she's a builder at heart. Take those builder's instincts and add a newly hatched love for her little chicks, and what do you get? Renovations to the chicken nursery.

The nursery started as a perfectly adequate plastic box with wood shavings in the bottom, a waterer and a feeder. Everything a young chick could ask for. But not good enough for Kim.

She started to worry that the chicks didn't have enough room. So we added a second plastic box, a second waterer and a second feeder, plus a rotating schedule of swap-outs from box to box so the chicks would all continue to be comfortable with each other.

Then she read that chicks need to learn how to perch on a round stick of some kind. Apparently that's how grown birds sleep at night. So she added a roost in each box. The chicks initially viewed it as an obstacle in their path from one side of the box to the other, but some are now getting the hang of it.

Some are even learning to fall asleep on it. These chicks are about to do the beak-first nosedive into the wood shavings we now recognize as chicks' usual way of falling asleep.

The chicks are very active, and flap around a lot, so the last addition was a screened-in lid for each box, to keep the chicks safe where they belong.

So far we can't tell any of these chicks apart except for one. This one is noticeably lighter in colour than the others, bigger in size, and seems to have a different temperament as well: calmer, friendlier, more curious. This little chick has quickly become Kim's favourite, and we have decided that if it turns out to be a little rooster, it will be the one we keep.


Paula said...

How cute that they're learning to roost already! I'm getting a good idea for the first brood box.

You know you'll have to give them more room as they get bigger, right?

Kim should work on something expandable, that you can use from year to year. There's an online outfit, Backyard Chickens, I think, that sells a kit for new chicken owners and they do an expandable brood box using slotted cardboard, but I bet Kim could come up with something like it using quarter-inch plywood, or something even better than that.

Naturally, I'm just waiting for your pictures so that I can make one too know- let Kim do all the hard work, such as figuring it out.

I have great faith in Kim.

The chicks are really cute.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Awww, they are just too cute!

Now isn't this a lot of fun???

I've been looking into portable electric poultry fencing so I can give the girls some free range space without having to carry them to the backyard. Besides, they've figured they can fly over the fence, which they are now doing on a regular basis, and head over towards the coop (and the evil neighbors). When it is hot out as it has been lately, they tend to spend most of the time in the coop since it's cooler in there than outside. I'm on the fence if I want to make the investment. I'm sure I'll post about it if I leap!

You are such good chicken mothers!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Your little chicks are just darling, and I'm enjoying seeing them!! I'll bet if you and Kim look really close, you can actually see them grow! :-)

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