Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Hatching chicks - growing up!



It’s 3 weeks now since my little chicks hatched and they are really growing up. In the past week they have learned that the sound of the vacuum cleaner is not a signal to run, jump and flap about the place like Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army, and that being picked up by me does not result in death! They have also discovered that food in a different dish is still food and that going to the toilet in your water bowl is never a good idea. Not only does it spoil the water but you get wet and cold when you fall in!
Their little world is all very new and exciting and they are now confident enough to explore. We have had a few surprisingly sunny days in the last couple of weeks and the greenhouse has reached a whopping 18 degrees as a result. This has meant that they have been able to play in there for much of the day without needing to return to their brooder for warmth.
They are really in need of a bit more variety and stimulation in the form of bugs, grass, weeds, dust and perching materials, but its way too cold to let them play out at present. Their baby fluff is gradually turning into feathers, especially on their wings so they will shortly enter the ugly duckling phase of transformation, from chicks to growers. 
They are chatty and lively and dart about like little mice, so photographing them is tricky. They don’t have names yet as I like to wait until their gender and personality is established. Though one of them looks remarkably like a character from an Edward Dory book so perhaps that name will stick.

6 comments:

  1. They have grown SO fast. How many did you hatch?

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  2. 5 hatched Karisse but one died early on. I was looking atntheir combs tiday and have an awful feeling that 3 of them are boys. 2 of them definately are so I will need to try and sell some of my pullets which were last year hatch to make space for them.

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  3. That's the only downside of hatching chicks rather than buying in pullets. It's definitely more fun hatching them though. Yours are superb looking birds Sue.

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  4. What lovely chicks - they look almost silvery.

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    1. Thanks Nancy,

      the blues do have a lovely satin sheen to their feathers. The blacks have a wonderfully glossy beetle green sheen to theirs which is very striking.

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  5. Thanks Mark,

    and you are right about the cockerels being an ocupational hazard of hatching. Having just been out to the greenhouse and watched 3 of the chicks belly bouncing each other like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks I seem to have 75% males.
    The problem with keeping such a rare breed as the Croad Langshans is that they are so difficult to come by. So buying in good breeding stock becomes a problem. And as I am one of only a handful of people in the country who breed blues the job gets even harder.

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