If you've been hoping for a chick post, here you go!
The chicks are now a week and half old, and growing like weeds. We've already had to replace the first brooder box with a second one for more room. They are very healthy and active and are constantly exploring their environment and learning new things. They really like scratching in the wood shavings and pecking at the newspaper. They've also started trying out their wings by running across the box and flapping. Today we saw one happily dust bathing just like a miniature hen. Here is a look at our brooder setup.
We've got the heat lamp on an adjustable stand so that the warmth can be regulated. This week it is at 85-90 degrees at chick height. We will decrease the heat 5 degrees a week until it is 70 degrees, at which point they will be fully feathered and will be able to venture outside. Also, because the heat lamp could cause a fire if it fell into the shavings, we've screwed the clamp to the stand so that its more secure (before we did that the lamp fell from the table it was clamped on. Luckily we were here when it happened). The long red feeder allows them to find feed even if part of it gets filled up with wood shavings. The jar with the green bottom is the waterer and works well, except they fill the tray with wood shavings constantly. Whitney changes it at least 5 times a day. And the wood block in the corner is there for them to roost on, and they really seem to like that. It is nice and low to the ground so when they fall off they don't hurt themselves. It also helps keep them from roosting on the feeder, and getting a lot of poop in the feed.
Speaking of roosting, I had to add this photo since it was a new development last night. When we checked the little girls before heading to bed we found one had taken to roosting on the water jar! This was quite a surprise because the jar sits well above head height and she had to jump and flap to get up there, but managed it like it was nothing. It's also a surprise because chick brooding books say not to expect roosting until 4 weeks! I dunno, maybe these are AP chicks :-). The down side to this is that when standing on the jar, the little one can nearly look out of the box, so today we'll need to fashion up a chicken wire top for the box so that they don't take to getting out while we're not watching.
Okay, I better get outside, looks like a nice day coming.