Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio are 6 weeks old now and they are no longer looking like baby chicks, but much more like little chickens. It has been amazing to see how fast our girls have grown.
The chick’s first home was a brooder in our basement. We enjoyed having them inside the house and our boys loved watching them and holding them. Around week three, my wife Val noticed a thin layer of white dust in our storage room. Her first thought was that maybe the furnace backed up, or possibly a bag of flour had exploded. After a little research, we realized that the white dust was chicken dander. The chick’s feathers were coming in and leaving a film of dust all around. We realized that it was time for their first transition – moving them into the garage.
We were initially concerned about the cold temperatures, but realized that the heat lamp would keep them plenty warm. We transferred the existing brooder into the garage and built a nice wall of pavers around the brooder to keep it from blowing over every time we opened the garage door. They were instantly comfortable in their new home.
It didn’t take long for them to find a way to perch up on top of the brooder. Rio, our Araucana/Ameraucana, was the first to perch and Sydney, a Buff Orpington, quickly followed. Thanks to the genius Peck and Play from Murray McMurray, they could perch and still stay contained. We put the Peck and Play over the brooder and it gave us a peace of mind that our chicks wouldn’t hop out.
Today, we got to a enjoy a sunny, 65 degree day here in Colorado Springs, CO! We let the chicks scratch and peck around our backyard, free range if you will, for their very first time. They LOVED being outside and we were also entertained as we watched them play. We’ve realized that it’s now time to make the next transition – the big move to a real coop. Our goal is to have it built this week. I can’t believe how fast the past 6 weeks with our chicks have gone. Before we know it, we’ll be eating fresh eggs straight from our backyard! Who’s ready for fresh eggs?
You can read more about Hunter Kemper at http://www.hunterkemper.com.