Chick Update: Week 1
The Ameraucanas and Javas are now 15 days old, passed the critical 2 week mark! The Easter Egger and Barred Rock are still only a mere 8 days old. It is pretty amazing to see them grow, even just over these last few days. I can’t believe we only just got them this past weekend. I have to keep reminding myself that even though they seem so self sufficient, that they are still babies.
One of the challenges has been keeping the brooder the right temperature. We have chicks that are a week old and by definition require a 5 degree difference in temperature. I also presume their actual needs vary from the guidelines depending on many things, such as how fast their feathers are growing in. So we have tried to create a nice spectrum of temperatures for them in their space so they have warmer and cooler spots. It seems to be working well. I expect to do some adjustments today as we moved them out of their initial cardboard box with paper towels as bedding into a metal trough (divided to give them more room, but not the entire trough yet) and on ground corncob bedding. They do love the new bedding though! They’ve been spending a lot of time playing in it, kicking it up, practicing to search for bugs.
Photos take on 3/18/11, the day we picked up the Easter Egger and Barred Plymouth Rock. Both only 3 days old.
These little fuzz balls are just too cute for words. The Barred Plymouth Rock is the one that is mostly black and the Easter Egger is the brown one with a racing stripe down her back. These chicks are both sexed, which means they are most likely girls (90% accuracy).
Nap time! They little babies eat, run around and then nap cuddled up together.
Photos take on 3/19/11 after we picked up the 2 Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas and 2 Mottled Javas. We integrated the 2 groups within a few hours and they became a family immediately.
The Mottled Javas are the yellow ones with black and white feathers, they are also the largest chicks. They will lay brown eggs. The Wheaten Ameraucanas are yellow with light brown feathers coming through on their wings and tails. They will lay blue eggs! These 2 breeds are straight-run so, gender is unknown. That’s why we have 2 of each, with the hopes that we get at least one girl of each breed.
Photos take on 3/23/11 while they enjoyed a special treat of warmed feed mixed with organic low-fat yogurt.
In the photos above you can see how much larger the Mottled Java is compared to the Easter Egger and Barred Rock to its left, only 1 week difference in age! The Javas are actually also noticeably bigger than the same ages Ameraucanas. The Javas are really fascinating, they are so tall and angular, almost like a creature out of the Dark Crystal!
They get along so well! I love the different feathers on all of them. The Ameraucana’s especially. The Easter Egger is such a character, she is small but fast! Not in the photo on the right she is dodging under the tail of a Java to get by.