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Monday, May 7, 2012

Our Chicken Week

One week old.
They all still have an egg tooth which you can see at the tip of the beak.
This is supposed to fall off or be reabsorbed after a couple of weeks.

Our set up is pretty simple.  We began with a huge warming light from the feed store which was way too big and heated the entire room.  We ended up getting a reptile light from the pet store with a 75 watt heating bulb.  We have the thermometer from the incubator inside the tank to keep an eye on the temperature, which we have read should stay around 95 degrees for the first week or so.  The chicks can huddle under the light if they are cold, but they also have an area outside this "comfort zone" where they can move if they are too warm.  We are using pine shavings to line the bottom of our large tank, and there is plenty of room for a feeder and a waterer.  For obvious reasons, we have a wire mesh top on the tank, and we just rest the light on top.  There is no smell at all from the chicks or the tank, and they have been very easy to take care of so far.  We noticed that they get a bit of water and then look up, and we found out that chickens have to stretch their heads up to let water drain down their throat instead of swallowing.

When the chicks get tired, they lay down and fall asleep almost instantly. 
Whenever we see them sleeping, we look closely to see if they are breathing! 
They look dead when they sleep, because they sprawl out and lay their heads down. 
This is my son's cockatiel Pigwidgeon.  She doesn't sleep like this.
 She sits on her perch and closes her eyes without laying her head down.
 Chickens sleep like dogs or cats.
The chicks love to sit under the heat lamp, but they also love to jump, scratch in the litter, peck, stretch, and sleep. 
The first chick to hatch peeped loudly all afternoon until the second chick joined him in the tank. 
Since then, all of them peep very softly and quietly.
 We think they are calmer when they aren't alone.

This is Foghorn Leghorn.

This is Bucky.

This is Bucky's wing.
 All of the chicks are getting wing feathers, and they look longer from morning to night. 
They are growing really fast.

This is Amadeus.
He was the first chick to hatch, the one who peeped so loudly the first day.
We played Mozart on the boombox
to calm him down. 

These are Amadeus' wrinkly feet on my wrinkly fingers.

Chick bottoms are so cute--they look like little cottony puff balls. 
Amadeus has some tiny tail feathers starting.

(Photos courtesy of Will Campbell)

{I'm linking up with "Hello Monday"}

1 comment :

Chris said...

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