The chicks didn’t really do much on their first day–I think they were freaked out by the move. Yesterday and today, their antics have been much more entertaining. They’ve been running around the cage and flapping their wings and sparring. And at one point one of the yellow one’s heads broke the plane of the top of the brooder–we quickly made a cover out of some scrap hardware cloth! Aaron also made a little roosting bar, even though they don’t really need it yet, because they’ve been climbing up to perch on top of the thermometer.
They also poop. A lot. I’ve been scooping it out with a plastic spoon. And two of them, the Plymouth Rock and the Golden Comet (whom we’ve named Little Jerry Seinfeld) had pasty bottoms–I had to use cotton balls dipped in warm water to gently (and slowly) soak the dried poop off. Nothing was plugged up, but I didn’t want their little chick butts to become occluded because they can die if that happens. So, aided by this video and helpful information, I dabbed with warm water until their little chicken vents, as they’re called, were winking at me.
Yesterday I gave them some yogurt mixed in with their chick feed (which is NOT the same as chicken feed), and today a few teeny pieces of hard-boiled egg. It sounds creepy and cannibalistic, I know, but apparently this is good for their little digestive tracts. Since then, I haven’t seen any more diarrhea, so I think they’re in good shape.
Okay, okay, all that about chick poop was kind of gross. Here are some cute videos to balance it out.
The Plymouth Rock attempts to perch on the thermometer:
And here are some general chick antics. It’s difficult to get good videos (or photos!) of them, because even the noise of my camera turning on seems to distract them from what they’re doing. I have several videos of the chicks standing still and just looking at the camera, seemingly forgetting that they were eagerly playing just moments before!
Aaron likes to pretend he was surprised when I brought them home, but he got me a very handy book, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, for Christmas, so I think he is actually pretty excited about the chicks.
And how is Carmen reacting? Well, when they’re sleeping, she ignores them. When they’re active and peeping, she whines a lot. And when they’re out of the cage, I think she’s afraid of them.