Thursday, May 13, 2021 (13 days before May’s “Flower Moon” rises fullest to Earth)
There’s no decent photo of my baby chicks in their brooder, a converted small watering trough, covered with an opaque screen. I brought home chicks without advance planning. Their trough became a quick, easy grab, and it’s turned out to have too-short sides. When I lift their covering screen, my bitty rascals become frightened, start leaping, and surprisingly high, potentially escaping the container.
They’re a week old and for several more weeks will live in the brooder, its overhead heat light keeping them warm while their feathers grow. Once their feathers can warm independently, the chicks will go to reside in a chicken coop, sharing space with protective dwarf goat twins.
My previous chickens knew me, were comfortable walking at my feet and right over my shoes. They followed, while avoiding my reaching to stroke or pick up a chicken. To hold one, I first had to chase and corner it.
Less effort with these new babies. They should get to know me, be comfortable with human handling. Starting now and daily, I’ll spend time at the brooder, lifting and holding each chick. On beginning this and first attempting to remove their covering screen, their leaping to escape were worrisome.
I responded by laying new bedding at the bottom of a deep container. Into that I transferred the chicks one-by-one. Then by turns, I played with one with the others safely confined, easily available. Each fluff resisted being lifted, but once held became quiet and comfortable.
No telling if this “training” will evolve as hoped, but it can’t do harm.
There’s room for one more baby, a Welsummer. I’ve searched feed stores, local and beyond, for an available chick. People like Welsummers so none remained. Happily, yesterday, a supplier phoned saying Welsummers will arrive Friday. After a confirming call, I’ll go for a chick. My flock is young which makes introducing a new baby easy.
These are smart and wonderful chick protectors, the dwarf twins.
Dear Friends: I refused to have another chicken, “No, no, no!” Proof that certainty isn’t an absolute. Diana