After two very disappointing trips this week to Tractor Supply for chicks and finding none in the store (I think they just had to wait for the eggs to hatch!) I got a call this morning letting me know they came in!!!
Introducing Lucy and Ethel, (the Rhode Island Reds) and Buffy and Bo (the Buff Orpingtons) :
They live in a very large Rubbermaid tote lined with paper towels in Steve’s bathroom – with the door CLOSED! They have two bricks in the tote, near the heat lamp to help absorb the heat as well as give them a place to perch when they are big enough. In a week or so, I’ll add some dowels between the bricks so they’ll have a roost. I have a large heat lamp in one corner where they can go if they are cold but it’s only in one corner so they can move away as needed to adjust their body temp. The area under the lamp should be around 95 degrees right now, but needs to be lowered by about 5 degrees each week until they are old enough to go outside. I’ll adjust the temp by lowering the watt of the bulb in the heat lamp and by raising the lamp up away from the bottom of the tote. They are kind of messy so the paper towels will have to be replaced twice a day (minimum!) and their food and water will need to be freshened at the same time.
I feed them a “starter/growth” poultry feed that is 20% protein. And they have a water station. As they get bigger, I’ll feed them grass, chickweed, and veggies and fruits.
And for those of you wondering, Lucy is sitting outside the bathroom door sticking her foot under it determined to find a way in.