Growing Like Crazy and Coop Building Tips
Cecily and Amelia? 2 weeks old and growing like crazy!
|Cecily and Amelia at two weeks.|
If you have new chicks this year, you already know the fast rate of growth they are experiencing.? Literally overnight they seem to change and develop.? At two weeks old, Cecily and Amelia have grown lots of new baby feathers and are losing the downy fluffy looking appearance.? Each day brings them closer and closer to the not so attractive, teenage chicken phase!? When I pick them up they really like to exercise their growing wings and try out those new flight feathers!? Even though I have the brooder box covered with a cardboard lid and the heat light, I have found Amelia has twice flown the coop!? Lucky for her I happened to look in while she was still warm and comfy.? She was confused as to how she ended up on the floor, but since she could flap her wings she had not fallen, but merely flown down to the ground.? The biggest problem with this happening is that the chick will become chilled before you find it, so if your babies are starting to look for independence, make sure the lid is secure while still allowing ventilation into the brooder.? This week I introduced a small handful of hay into the brooder.? The girls quickly made a nest out of it and I found them sleeping contentedly.
It’s not to soon to be working on a plan for moving the girls to an outdoor coop. Although you need to wait until the nights are warmer, having a plan will make the transition go smoothly. ? If you already have an outdoor chicken coop then you will just need a baby area to integrate the little ones into the flock.? Remember, the pecking order will be upset so keep a close eye on the babies any time they are allowed interaction with any older hens.? I use a dog crate or chicken wire pen inside the coop once the babies are big enough.? This gives them some room to peck the ground and get to know the other chickens without being picked on! ?
If you are new to chicken raising you are probably deciding what type of coop and enclosure you want in your backyard.? There are many styles to choose from and you can even use your garage or existing shed to safely house the new chickens.? Just be sure to clean out any chemicals or other materials that have been stored before the chickens investigate potential hazards.??
It’s been too chilly to take Cecily and Amelia out this week, but I am planning an outing soon.? I want them to experience dirt and grass.? Just for a short time to start and I’ll have to make sure they can’t fly away on those beautiful new wings!??