So I’ve been promising a chick(en) update for forever. We had 8 chicks hatch from our incubator!
[First two chicks to hatch]
7 hatched on day 21 and one hatched on day 23. We named the late hatcher Lucky. The other 7 were Barred Rocks and Lucky was Black Australorp. The chicks were doing really well overall. I was a bit disappointed as I had hoped for a few more chicks to hatch but thankful for the ones we had and gave the eggs until day 29 before pitching the others.
[Lucky is the one with feathers sticking out a bit to the sides and more yellow than the others]
They stayed in the brooder inside for 3 weeks and then we gradually started introducing them to their coop. We would take them outside with their heat plate, food, and water during the day and bring them and all their gear back in at night. Around 4.5-5 weeks we decided we’d leave them outside full time with their heat plate in coop also (over the following week we ended up removing the heat plate).
[Chicks at 3 weeks old when they were in coop during day and brooder at night- Lucky is the one that looks different]
When we were back and forth with the chicks we ended up losing one from an accident- kids ended up dropping it and the dog wanted to play- the combination did the poor thing in. We gave it about 6-7 hours by itself under the heater and it continued to get worse so Dan made the decision to end its suffering. The other chickens were doing well. Facebook groups suggested that we had all males. So we had decided to order some pullets (hens that aren’t yet laying) from a hatchery here in NC and were going to go with Barred Rock since that was majority Of our cockerels (young male chickens). Well, before ordering our pullets, we went to Tractor Supply and it happened to be their final chick day. We ended up purchasing 15 Leghorn pullets for 50¢ a piece! That was about 10 days ago and they will soon outgrow the indoor brooder. So we planned for our next project to be building a larger brooder outside.
[Our Leghorns when we first brought them home]
Unfortunately, yesterday I woke up to Lucky missing. I looked inside and outside the coop to no avail. Ended up deciding to check the rafters and found what little bit remained of him 😭. We think it was a raccoon. Potentially an owl though from some research. Either way, next up on projects is to build a predator proof chicken tractor. Telling the kids was heartbreaking. They are much better today though. Last night we locked our other 6 chickens into the dog cage and then put our dog (Max) in the coop with them and set a trap hoping to catch the coon. This morning, I woke to Max running loose out of the coop and our adopted (stray) cat in the trap 😣😅. So tonight we will attempt something similar again and see what happens.
[Destruction from Max]
[“Tiger” our adopted(stray) cat was not amused]
I will try to keep you up to date on the happenings with the coop and the chicks. We have six 7-week old chicks and fifteen <2 week old chicks. In the mean time, we got 3 more animals the day after we brought home the Leghorn pullets (if you follow our Facebook you know what I’m talking about!). I have a post scheduled for an update on them so be on the lookout.
Have a beautiful day!