Chickie sitting after a long time away from chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kaneke, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Kaneke

    Kaneke Chillin' With My Peeps

    now --- baby chick sitting for next door neighbor who wanted "pet" chickens ... but who is sure taking her time cleaning out her coop to receive them -- has been almost three weeks now ... mama hen has the run of the property but the chicks are in my brooder (large cardboard box with perch installed) in our enclosed porch -- and it is warm here ... in Maui ... now that the rains have eased off

    though I do put a reflector light with a 100w bulb, clipped to top of brooder at night -- turn it on and off depending on their behavior

    chicks were born on my friend's suburban farm -- definitely free range and mama hen is essentially wild; interesting mix, mama appears to be a crossbred small Easter Egger, black with silver mantle, slate legs -- but of the chicks --- well ---

    two more or less platinum blond --- with silver, brown, and black barring on the wings -- yellow legs, white ear patches
    one is almost certainly a cockerel (has dark brown stripey (laced?) feathers coming in on saddle), the other may be a pullet, we will see

    one I would call dishwater blond -- with light sienna and gray blotching on back, gray stripe developing on top of head, "duckwing" wings, yellow legs, beige ear patches; almost certainly a pullet (much smaller, lighter leg bones, less comb development)

    four that look like pix of Barred Rocks chicks --- white crown patches, black bodies, spotted/mottled (with white) wings, legs pinkish-grayish- yellow, ear patches apparently pale gray; one most likely a cockerel, the others... we will see

    (makes me really wonder about mama hen's lineage !!! )

    two mostly black (one with a white breast !), dark gray legs, dark ear patches -- one surely a cockerel (the second biggest of the bunch), one probably a pullet (shy and small)

    wait a minute, that's only nine and there are ten of them ... LOL ... oh, make that THREE all-black

    rooster could be: white (probably out of a Production White, ex egg farm hen), red (RIR cross), Hawaii-wild-chicken (see pix of feral chickens on Kauai), or black ....

    everyone talks about bedding but have never seen anyone using what I am using -- which is grass ... wide blade weedy grass (including Spanish needle and clover), pulled up every couple of hours and laid on top of the poo-y grass already there (with a slight dusting of DE once a day before I add the fresh -- this has kept the odor and dust down to minimum -- so far

    chicks absolutely love this and have a great time scratching for half an hour every time I put in fresh stuff

    before you freak -- the chicks were running around free range for several days with mama hen before friend trapped them .. so they have been well exposed to dirt and such ... friend has quite a few chickens, also goat, ducks, geese, and lots of visiting wild birds

    they're getting organic game bird starter, just switched them from mash to crumbles, decided to try using a round BIRD FEEDER (from Walmart) rather than the plastic mini ice cube tray I had been using ... they can't poo in their food now, since I have it suspended an inch above the bedding, and they have to reach in to the openings to get the feed

    water is in a hanging plant holder, shaped kind of like a sugar bowl, wide on the bottom, narrower up top, so they have to perch on the edge and dip in, set up so they really have to WORK to turn around and deposit poo

    wish I had remembered what my sign-in was, would have loved to meet & greet with other BYCers here on Maui -- but we are off to the mainland in a week ... while new tenants move in here ... hope to get together with the BYCers in Yelm ...
  2. growinupinfl

    growinupinfl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Personally I don't see a problem with you doing it that way. Other than a lot of work going out to collect more bedding. If you want to cut down on some labor, I would go see if anyone has wood shavings from carving or wood working with natural wood. On the mainland it is easy to get pine shavings from the local feed store or from some one who harvest pine trees for fire wood or what ever. If you know of something indigenous to Hawaii that is local go for it. I personally would avoid the evil Kiawe, I don't even know if its possible to get shavings from them [​IMG] I would also avoid things like mango trees that are known to cause allergic reactions. I'm personally wondering about plumeria, monkey pod trees and banyan, moan wood work nice if you are not hauled up for some sort of crime for letting chicks poo on something so pretty.

    Here is another option put them outside in something like those kid or puppy corals, or even make your own with that cheap plastic fencing, held up with bamboo sticks stakes whatever you have on hand. You will also need a box of sort to get them out of damp and rain a box that is some how rain proof would be best. I like old ugly solid wood cabinets from places like the habitat for humanity restores. You can get ugly ones cheap. I like the cabinets because you have a door with hinges, cut the shelf back some there is the perch. If you plan on keeping some you can use the wood you cut out from the shelf and cut a hole in the door and voila little coop already there, no worrying about everything else. If the cabinet has an open back you van just tack a piece of wood over it, or even just back it up against your house instead the awning. You can use an old plastic tub but you need the lid to have a hole for them to get into it, chicks that get wet can die. I personally don't like the plastic tub the lids pop off a lot when they are on their side and if water gets in it will just puddle up and grow moldy. With wood cabinets it can run out the cracks and dry. I have also used a couple of tarps over regular chain link fence with boards and a dog kennel with ripped up paper bags I later threw into my compost. You just want something old and dried like hay, even coconut fibers would work. They nieed something to keep them dry and not retain moisture when the air is damp and for them to snuggle into to sleep all nice and snug.You can draped an old fishing net, or if someone has an old torn trampoline enclosure that you can fit over the top of the coral to keep them from escaping, or heaven forbid something get in you an draped it down and secure with tent or whatever stakes or cut to size and tie on. Then they will have the natural environment but safe and non wandering like their wayward Gypsy mother.
    Personally I like to raise my chickkens with using as few new materials as possible. Most of these items you can even get for free if you post it in free cycle or Craigslist. I hope this gives u some ideas.

  3. Kaneke

    Kaneke Chillin' With My Peeps

    love your ideas, thanks so much for a great post

    actually these chicks are going into my neighbor's already-built coop -- I'm just keeping them for her for about another three or four days, partly to keep them warmer than she can (her house is tiny, no place to put a brooder) and partly to get them somewhat used to humans, which is what she wants ... I imagine when she gets the coop ready --- which (ahem!) was supposed to be done two weeks ago --- we'll just truck the cardboard brooder box down the hill and install in the coop, with me loaning her the reflector-light I've been using during the night .. though they are feathering out rapidly and MAY be more than 3 weeks old already

    my idea for a coop, for next year, was to get an old child's swing set and a broken down "entertainment center" --- scrounge the hardware cloth or whatever, to cover it --- about the only predator we need worry about are feral and neighborhood-wandering cats ... neighbor's dogs run most anything else off the property yet protect the hens ...

    then also get some PVC pipe (we have a lot of broken water lines from tenants running over irrigation lines with lawnmowers, or (horrors) parking their cars on top of them ... ) and make up a "chicken tractor" so they get the benefit of free ranging, yet we can keep the poo where we know we can deal with it, instead of finding it all over (like on the front path, after dark ... ikkkk )

    kiawe = mesquite --- don't think that would make good litter for hens --- plumeria has irritating sap (similar to poinsettia) --- eucalyptus is definitely out -- maybe next time we trim the mulberry or the macadamia, we can find someone with a chipper

    also I salvaged a couple of Christmas trees, thought I could strip needles off the branches, to make a pleasantly aromatic addition to the floor litter ... and we have lots of Norfolk Island pine branches which fall off our two very tall trees

    we're just about out of the rainy season -- this part of Maui has been drought-stricken for several years -- so the rain the last couple of months has been a godsend to those with farms or pastures ...

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