Chicks in the composter "brooder"; earwigs at a young age

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by vermontgal, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    I'm raising 4 urban chicks in downtown Montpelier, VT. My chicks arrived in late June and early July. Although they are young, it is quite warm here during the day... so I have been putting them outside in my composter (black plastic design). The composter is only about 1/3 full, so it acts like a brooder. I put a piece of hardware cloth on top, with a board to weigh down the mesh and also provide some extra shade.

    They make very happy chick noises while they are out there. They love rooting around in the compost for bugs and greens. I give them water and food, too. There are a few branches in there, that they can practice perching on.

    They've been going outside since they were only 3-4 days old, and it seems to be a good thing. I don't put them out if it is very hot or too cool.

    They come inside at night. I hand carry them one at a time. Since I only have 4, this works out OK!

    I did have a scare when my dad put some beets in the compost. Apparently they really liked the beets. I didn't know he'd given them beets; when they started pooping out reddish poops, I was worried about them! Turns out that was fine.

    They also are already very fast at picking bugs out of the air. They really love earwigs, as well. I have started setting earwig traps in the garden from rolled up newspapers, and bring the newspapers over to the chicks to unroll. The chicks are quite ready to gobble the earwigs up.

    They are not crazy about being picked up, but they seem to like me OK because I bring them earwigs. [​IMG]
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    you have some really happy chickens! Compost to root around in AND earwig surprise? They are tres spoiled!
  3. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    what a wonderful brainwave!

    and hello from just down the road in randolph. [​IMG]
  4. what did you make the earwig trap out of it, could you give your earwig trap recipe?
  5. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Crowing

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Awesome idea! This is the first year we have had an abundance of earwigs - I am even finding them in my house! We had been catching baby boxelders, spiders and june bugs for our chicks - but I think I'll try the "earwig surprise". I take all my chicks outside everyday also and they are only 1 week old. They are closely supervised in an enclosed area and thrive on catching their own bugs and eating grass. My thoughts were it's about the same temp as a brooder outside and on a farm the momma hen would probably have them out for some amount of time.

    Must go devise an earwig trap now...

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