Looking for some advice on my little flock. Here is the background info:
We incubated 23 shipped eggs and 1 local egg. Ended up with a power failure, and a bad hatch. 1 local egg (Araucana) and 1 shipped (BCM) hatched 1 and 2 days late, but without assistance. I purchased 3, 5 day old Isa Brown chicks that day to keep them company.
In the past, we have always had meaties, and this is my first time with layer chicks. In general, they just don't seem to eat enough to me! However, that is probably because my meaties were just little fat blobs. I started mixing their chick starter into gruel last night, which seemed to improve eating of all the chicks.
The 3 Isa Browns are doing fine, as is the BCM chick. My concern is over my little Araucana- s/he is active, peeping, running around, but doesn't seem to eat nearly as much as the others and is now noticeably the smallest of the 5. If I peck at the food with my finger, he tends to peck at my finger rather than the food, or will peck at the other chicks beaks while they are eating. Its like he just doesn't get it, and he is 5 days old today, so I would have thought he should have figured this out by now! When he is eating, his crop never seems to get distended.
I'm going to try to find a kitchen scale today. Sadly in Australia the simple task of "running to Walmart" is not an option- we live out in a rural area and there is a decent chance that our local grocer will not have one.
1. Those of you that have raised this breed before- do you find them to be more "dainty"?? My BCM chick is a total chow hound, but this chick doesn't seem all that interested.
2. Is the size discrepancy purely breed related? I've never raised a mixed flock, so I'm used to seeing a lot of consistency between the birds, so maybe my concern is unfounded.
3. When do you decide to tube feed? I may be able to run to the city this afternoon to get some kind of hand rearing formula; if not I will blend up a concoction of soaked chick starter & cooked egg yolk mash.
Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I realize that not all chicks are meant to make it in life, I just hate to give up on this little one since he seems to be doing ok, but I feel like he's just on the edge of crashing and burning!