17 baby chicks hatched on Christmas

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tatiana110, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Unexpectedly we got our 1 day old baby chicks almost a month earlier - they hatched on Christmas :) We were supposed to get them at the end of January, but because of the avian flu the hatchery would not be hatching any eggs after this last batch, so we were happy to take these chicks home.

    We ordered 15 from a small local hatchery, and they generously added two extras. I am not new to raising chicks, but I haven't done it for the last 30 years, so I was worried about caring a good care of them. They all made it. Now they are 2 weeks all, all active and healthy.

    We've got 1 Caramel Queen, 3 Welsummers, 5 Light Sussex, 5 Barred Rocks, and 3 Ameraucanas (black).

    We feed them home made grain mix fermented + fresh veggies and greens, all organic. They also get some home made cottage cheese 3 times a week or earth worms, which they love very much. No chick starter feed, we are determined to feed them the 'old-fashioned way', they will get access to our permaculture garden when the weather gets warmer and when they get outdoors .

    I can post our fermented baby chicks mix formula if there is an interest.

    After 7 days we moved them into a larger brooder (4' x 6'), and they love the space.

    They have grit and coarse sand available all the time, and I brought a box with our garden soil to them, they enjoyed pecking at it, and now they love scratching there, in hopes of finding more worms.

    Some pics of the 1 day old chickies - [​IMG]

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    There they are at 6 days -
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    Tatiana
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  2. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The chicks are almost 2 weeks old. Some can fly very well - 2' feet or more. The roos started fighting already :)

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  3. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2014
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    They are beautiful. I would love to have your chick food recipe. I should have new ones in less than 10 days.
     
  4. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you :)

    Here is the recipe (since the babies are still small, we used organic grains intended for human consumption, but starting at 3 weeks old I intend to switch to animal grade organic whole grains)

    - 1 part steel cut oats
    - 1 part pearl barley
    - 1 part quinoia
    - 1 part millet
    - 1 part wheat germ
    - 5 parts cracked wheat
    - 1 part flax seeds
    - 2 parts hulled sunflower seeds
    - 1 part split peas
    - 2 parts lentils

    Since the last 3 ingredients are quite large and will need to be cut into smaller pieces, we ferment them separately and then cut them into small pieces and mix in with other grains before feeding.

    To start fermentation process, I added a tea spoon of home made sauerkraut liquid. If you do not have it, no problem, it'll just takes 1 extra day to ferment your first batch. Then you can use the liquid from the 1st batch to head-start your second batch, etc. It takes 3-4 days to ferment the first batch, and 2-3 days for the subsequent batches if you reuse the liquid (at 65F). WIll be faster at higher temperature. It is important to make sure you have 1 inch of liquid above the mix level, so no mold ever forms and everything stays fresh and smells nice.

    Starting from 6 days old, I add thinly cut greens (like kale, dandelion, chickweed or mustard greens) into the mix. It works great. Or, you can serve the veggies separately, after they ate 80% of the grain mix. I also grate fresh potatoes, rutabagas, carrots, beets, broccoli and serve it separately, with every second meal.

    The advantages of the fermented feed:
    - chicks poop actually smells quite nice :)
    - no diarrhea
    - no feed waste - they pick up every bit
    - they do not drink a lot of liquid - because they do not lose liquid with diarrhea, and they are getting moist feed.
    - they have big appetites :)
    - since they eat it quite fast, there is no time for them to poop into the feeder, they are busy eating it.

    It is very important to have chicks grit for them if you are feeding this mix.

    Also, on the 1st day I just gave them 1 boiled egg with some corn meal. They started to get the fermented mix on the 2nd day, and greens and veggies on the 3rd day.

    They also have rolled oats (dry) available all the time, but by day 5 they stopped eating it, as they now prefer fermented mix. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  5. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    at 6 days our chicks discovered a joy of dust bathing - it is so much fun to watch!
    (best viewed in HD)

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  6. roseyred

    roseyred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I loveeeeee that you make your own chick feed! And fermenting it! How do I make the saukraut liquid? I'm into all organic as well. Curious as to what your gonna give them for laying? Homemade? Hopefully fermented?? Please share!!!! [​IMG]

    I also love that you put dirt as there litter and hay. I am allllll about that. My coops all have dirt bottoms. The tile and wood floors of coops are just not normal. I throw lots of hay, good hay and my mom gets a little mad about it haha but it's great for my chickens. They'll eat the little grainy grasses from it and build it up in corners to snuggle in. It also keep there coop warm and you never see poops on the ground since the floor is under layers.
     
  7. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2014
    Florida
    Do you just mix this up and cover it with water? How often do you feed this to them and how much? How do you store it and how long will it keep? Thank you for the recipe.
     
  8. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    roseyred, thank you :)

    We make sauerkraut, so I just drain a spoon of liquid from it :)

    Not sure yet about our layer recipe, but it will be fermented and/or sprouted whole grains for sure! Maybe some fodder too, if I have time to do it.

    I believe that a good garden dirt is great for chicks. Good bacteria and fungi. We plan to have deep litter in the coop and run (woodchips + dirt). The brooder has coco coir, hay, and some dried herbs (mainly oregano and stinging nettle) as a litter. 9 days, we have not changed it. No smell. They are in our living room at this time. I also have 2 boxes with garden soil and sand, with some wood ashes added.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  9. Tatiana110

    Tatiana110 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put the scoops into a glass jar and cover with water (and the fermented liquid from the previous batch). Next morning I add more water, as the grains will adsorb a lot of it overnight.

    I do not measure how much I give them exactly. Every day they eat more than the previous day, as they grow fast! I try to give them as much as they would eat in 20 minutes, to make sure the smallest chicks get their share too. At 2 weeks, I feed them 6 times a day, all feeds except one would be with fermented mix. One feed (middle of the day) is a protein boost - cottage cheese, home made fresh yogurt, fish, worms + grated veggies. I keep the dry rolled oats in the feeder all the time, in case someone gets hungry, but I do not see anyone eating it in the last week or so.
     
  10. newwestchick

    newwestchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did these guys come from true north farms hatchery in surrey/Langley? We picked up 22 from them on Christmas Day (hatched on the 23rd) :)
    Mine are doing excellent too! All the same breeds except no Wellsummer.
     

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