01/19/08 - Chicks purchased from local chicken selling type lady. What I received were supposedly 3 week old chicks, but she gave me extra: 4 BR, 2 BO, 2 RIR, one brown silkie and one silkie frizzle mix. The last two were older than the others. My original cardboard box would not suffice when I put in my feeder and waterer. So, I scramble to get my dog's crate in order to have chickens housed. The temp for the night was planned to be around 30. Two hours later, the crate is ready, hardware cloth elevated by custom wood beams so the droppings can fall into the plastic pan below. Two heat lamps and a halogen lamp stand are ready to warm my outdoor shed.
As I start placing the chicks into their new digs, I noticed one chick with a bloody back and almost no fuzz there and another with a swollen, weeping eye. I realized that the large brown silkie chick is beating up all of the little girls. Out with the jigsaw and some more hardware cloth and I create a makeshift partition to separate the silkie from the rest.
01/20/08 - Day two, I rush outside to see if the cold, which a poorly read thermometer states is 40 degrees in the shed, has taken the lives of any of the chicks. Amazingly, they are quiet and just lazing around. I refill the feeder with the MG medicated chick starter and then they start to move like they are hungry. They clean the feeder in almost no time, some feed left on the bottom but not really taken all. I have a waterer filled with some dewormer, but online folks state not truly necessary. I might not add to their water later. Afternoon and I checkup on the chicks. They are doing well. I am digging out a red canna patch in the backyard and see some earthworms. OK! Let's see if silkie needs some protein instead of chicken! She/he took it down like a champ and the other chicks went insane. It was like a members watching a gang fight...they all wanted to take their turn. Back out to the canna patch and find more worms. Again, I hold the worm in my palm and am nearly trampled by the onrush. The chicks tear the helpless composter into a shredded mess. The younger chicks don't know what to do with the worm other than keep it away from the others. Later that night, I take in RIR with the swollen eye and dab some antibiotic. She/he is so adorable. I stroke under her beak softly and her eyes start to shut as she relaxes in my palm. A BO and a BR come over and want some attention too. We are all one in the warm shed.
01/24/08 - Thursday night. This afternoon, the feeder was completely empty. Bone dry, nada, zilch. Usually they leave some crumbles behind. This time, it's gone. One of each of the BRs, BOs, and RIRs, waltz right out of the dog kennel when I open the gate. They are so cute and ballsy and will try anything. The cage is split into two spaces, one for young guys, and the other is for an older silkie and the silkie frizzle mix. My god, these birds are just growing like mad.
Over a month has passed! The chooks are in their new coop! Hooray! The shed is no longer so stinky...although they went in for a night because of the cold weather!
02/24/09 - Just gave away my coop last saturday. Someone from the Heights who is on this website got it. I wish you well with it! But he also sent me a link to a stealth coop. With just a few sexed chicks and a smaller camouflaged coop, I think I might be able to get some eggs this year along with some great fertilizer for tomatoes!!! Wish me luck! Pics will be coming soon when I get everything setup.