Say “hello” to our new flock.
We picked these ladies up last week. The romanticism of chick-raising has diminished slightly this go-around. Now that I know how easy it is once they make it into the back yard, I’m ready for them to flee the coop…so to speak. Chicken Factoid: Did you know that when introducing a new flock to an existing one, you should always try to have a larger new flock? This helps prevent the existing chickens from trying to dominate the new ones.
I love these little chickies. I hold them everyday. Which, if you have chicks you should totally do. I’ve seen how much more sociable hens are if they are used to being held. Some breeds are going to be flighty no matter what. But generally speaking your hens will be a lot more friendly if they are used to you.
Another note for those wondering about the large yellow thing. That’s an EcoGlow warmer. Pretty much the most wonderful thing ever created. Chicks need to stay really warm while they’re growing up. Usually you prop up a heat lamp of some kind and gradually over several weeks lift it higher and higher, creating less and less heat. Here are a few reasons the heat lamp isn’t ideal:
1.There is always a risk of fire. The bulbs are extremely hot and if they were to drop or fall for some reason and come into contact with anything it will scorch or catch flame. Chick bedding acts like fire starter when this happens so the two don’t mix well.
2. You run the risk of the bulb going out at night, which would be devastating to smaller chicks.
3. The light (usually red) stays on all night long, therefore your chicks will be up all night long. They will nap when they want, but they won’t have a sleep cycle of any kind. While this isn’t particularly damaging, it isn’t natural either and it can make the transition outside a little chaotic.
The EcoGlow (I’m not getting paid for this, though I think I should) eliminates all those factors. By using radiant heat, you don’t run the risk of fire. There is no light, so the chicks huddle under it in the dark, just like a hen’s wing and sleep soundly all night. There are varying levels so you can easily heighten the brooder, allowing for bigger birds to fit underneath. You can see mine is currently at a slant so the older ladies can fit too.
It’s essentially trying to mimic a momma hen. The chicks regulate their own temperature. When they’re cold they hid under it, sometimes hanging halfway out. When they’re feeling warm they come out to explore. Hopefully this means that when these ladies finally make it outside they can handle the elements with ease.
I’ll be bringing you some more chick updates. I have a gut feeling that one in particular isn’t going to make it…but I’ll save that for another post.