Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little Peepers Growing Big

Our chicks are one month old today and still living in their cozy brooder in the garage. They' still too young to go outside to their intermediate chick house before joining the big girls in the hen house and poultry yard. Especially with the cool weather and lots of rain we've been having.

They've reached the adolescent age and are starting to look a little gawky.

No more little fuzz balls as feathers are now popping out all over.

I keep thinking the Light Sussex are dirty but it's just their black-tipped feathers becoming more prominent. I really like the way the Black Australorps are colored. But then I've always been partial to dark colored chickens. I'm thinking having the contrast between the dark and light colored birds running around the yard will be very attractive.

We're currently feeding them a mixture made up of one-half of our organic laying mash and one-half of the chick starter we grind from five different grains. A little bit of kelp is added to this mixture. A dish of this grain mixture is soaked overnight in fermented milk and whey which they get in a feeder separate from the dry grain mix. Another dish contains some rich dirt from our garden with chick-sized grit sprinkled on top. They also get a dish of grass, clover and dandelion leaves once a day. All they'd need would be a little chick-sized Rhubarb Pie for dessert and they couldn't ask for anything more.


judy said...

Send me that diet recipe-sounds like it might do ME sum good even with the delicious dandelion greens.We had baby robins just under the deck wood,kids kept peeping at them and the little robin peeps would peep back at them, than they where of age to go out on there own. But yesterday the nest was sitting on the deck railing with momma robin in it-I looked out and she looked at me as to say thanks for not letting the little children at my little kids and waved good-bye, now Anthony has his nest to bring in for show and tell.BUT HOW DID THE NEST GET THERE ? NO ONE FESSED UP!

Nina said...

Little chicks are so cute! The only thing I know about chickens is how to eat them.... but someday I would love to raise them. Someday!

Erin said...

The girls are looking fantastic! Haha, a little rhubarb pie would make a great photo op, but I'm sure Papa Pea would draw the line at that diversion from the impending remodeling work!

Mama Pea said...

judy - the old fascination of kids and birds' nests!

ArtsyNine - EVERYBODY should be able to have a couple few laying hens in the back yard. Nuthin' like home grown eggs! (We eat them, too! The chickens, I mean.)

Erin - Heck, if I made a little rhubarb pie Papa Pea would eat it rather than letting me give it to the chicks.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Those chickens ate better than me today. Do you have a recipe for people starter that I can mix up and shovel out on the plate for a meal? That would really save me some time :)

Mama Pea said...

Jane - That it would . . . save you (and me!) time. But I can guarantee it wouldn't taste as good as the gourmet meals you make!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I think they are lovely! Never thought those words would pass these lips but gosh they sure do!

Heehee...pie! You would!

Sparkless said...

Those look like happy chicks. Sounds like a lot of work making up what they need to eat.
How old or big do they have to be to go out with the big chickens?

Sue said...

I think a little pie would be just the perfect ending for their meal. You're so funny.
They are sure getting to the ugly stage, aren't they? Thank goodness that doesn't last too long. A mix of chickens is nice to see. We always had a variety-at least 5 kinds. Someone once told me the white chickens were easy prey to hawks, etc. I just never got them because, well, they weren't as interesting. Oh--I'm a chicken snob!!

Akannie said...

Your babies are growing up, Mama! lol

Mine love the dandelion greens too, and I don't go to the lengths you do to feed them, but they're some pretty happy campers!

I have Australorps and Buff Orpingtons...2 of the gentlest chicken breeds I've ever had, not to mention great layers!

Susan said...

Good lord - that diet sounds good enough for me! I love that age - they are so awkward and cute. My squirts are enjoying a brooding lamp in their little coop and get to look out during the day at the big chickens. Cute, cute, cute.

Mama Pea said...

APG - Yup, it's funny what we end up "getting into," isn't it? Love those chickies . . . who are gonna give us wonderful eggs!

Sparkless - We have a small chicken "house" that we'll put the chicks out in when they have a few more feathers but will keep a heat lamp out there so they don't chance getting cold. Then when they are completely feathered out, and are all using the roost at night, we'll let them be in the poultry yard with everybody else during the day but keep them in their own little house a bit longer. Probably in another month they can be in the "big girls' house."

Sue - I hope the hawks don't prey on our Light Sussex chickens, but I've heard the same thing. I picked them because of their characteristics which I thought would be good for the homestead. And I do think they're attractive with their black tipped markings. We'll see if I made a big goof. (We've never had white birds before.)

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - We've had Buff Orpingtons, too, and really liked them. I just wanted to try a couple of breeds we've never had this time around. Time will tell how they work out for us.

Susan - We've had hens hatch out batches of chicks and they were out with the big girls immediately and were never bothered or picked on so I'm hoping these chickies can get out as soon as the weather warms up. If it ever warms up.