Friday, October 23, 2009

Chick Update Day 9

The chicks have grown so much in the past week!  I consider the 18 chicks without a momma hen and the 5 guinea keets to be "my babies".  The hen is momma to her 8 chicks, which are maintained separate from my chicks.  My chicks are much friendlier than the others, they love to be held & fed.  They run to us when we enter the coop, and taste anything we feed them.  The other chicks with the hen are timid and eat only what momma hen approves.

The baby chicks love treats.  That's how we've taught them to come to us - we give them a treat at least once a day.  They love squash, broccoli, corn, lettuce, spinach, and especially earthworms.  We cut up the veggies into tiny pieces for them.  The earthworms are their all-time fav.  The chicks with their momma are not too sure about eating the veggies, but they also love earthworms.

The baby chicks are developing feathers on their tails & wings.  They have learned to roost somewhat, at least when they are awake.  One of the funniest things about the chicks without a momma is how they sleep - they lay down flat on the ground.  We thought it was because we started them in a glass aquarium which had a heating pad underneath.  They would fall sleep flat out on their sides or stomachs, with necks stretched out and heads laying on the ground off to the side or in front of them.  And they would all sleep on top of each other, in a big pile, chick heads & bodies everywhere.  But even after they've moved into the chicken coop, they still sleep like this.  If they fall asleep on the short chick-size roost in their chicken coop, their heads eventually fall to the ground when they pass out, causing them to fall off.  Our chicks & keets take sleeping serious, I guess.

The guinea keets get along fine with the chicks - we were wondering/hoping all would go well with them growing up together.  The keets are somewhat older/larger and are much more aggressive when it comes to eating treats.  We just have to make sure there's always enough treats to go around so no one gets left out.

This shot is kind of red because I took it under the red heat lamp in the chicken coop.

Chick sitting on my legs, others looking for treats from me

Momma hen and her babies on her back

The chicks love to warm themselves under the heatlamp with their wings spread out like this.

The guinea keets look like tiny vultures

The white leghorn chick is slightly larger and older than the others.  His comb is more developed, maybe because he's older.  He's also faster, more alert, always involved in everything.  I don't know if the differences with him are because he's a different type of chick, or because he's older, or maybe because he's a male.  Guess we'll find out. 

This chick is getting sleepy


Robin said...

Baby chicks are so cute. It's amazing how fast they grow. It will be interesting to see how you like your guineas. I've never been around any. I wonder if you will be able to see a decrease bug population once they are roaming free. A decrease in ticks sounds very lovely.

DayPhoto said...

Deb over at Tyler Farms in Main raises guineas and loves them She has several blog posts on her guineas. You might pop over there to enjoy with her. You have to go back through the posts, but they are there and they are entertaining!


Razzberry Corner said...

Robin -We are certainly hoping for a decrease in ticks next year because of the guineas. Sadly, one of our guineas was killed by momma hen (he escaped from his pen by flying into her pen), so now we are down to only 4 guineas. Since then everyone got a wing clipping, so no one else will be flying into momma hen's side of the coop.

Linda - I will go check out that blog right now! Thanks for the info! I haven't heard too much from people with guineas, so it will be interesting.