Chick update: chicks are two months old today

young chicks

Chicks after 8 weeks

It was only when I looked at photos of when the chicks had hatched that I realised that they were born exactly 2 months ago today (27th May 2013).

I have now taken the rooster back to the neighbour and the three older chickens keep the young ones in check.

A couple of the young male chickens have already started play-fighting but it’s not serious and they soon get bored.

The total count is 4 females and 5 males so I’m really pleased: the whole point of increasing the flock of laying hens has been achieved.

8-week-old chicks

Chicks at 8 weeks: female on the left, males in the centre and on the right

Because I was going to be getting some more eating chickens we cleaned out and disinfected the greenhouse in preparation. However, the shop won’t be getting eating chickens in until the middle of August.

I’ve closed the door to the greenhouse and yesterday the chicks ventured inside for the first time.

Rearing the chicks

recently hatched chick

28th May 2013: recently hatched chick

 Although one chick hatched on the 20th day of incubation (28th May 2013), by the morning of the 21st day another seven had hatched. One was still chipping through and followed shortly after. 

After hatching, I left the chicks in the incubator to dry out. I then moved them to a box with paper shreddings and some food and water, putting them back in the heated incubator at night.

recenytly hatched chicks

28th May 2013: chicks had hatched during the night

I then transferred them to a larger box with a sprinkling of sawdust on the floor. The feeder was an upturned plastic lid with a smaller glass to stop them walking through the food. I put some water in a flan mould filled with clay baking beans so that they wouldn’t drown in the water.

1st June 2013: chicks are four days old

1st June 2013: chicks are four days old

 For more about the incubation process, see this: incubating the eggs

Increasing the flock

The chickens seem happy to be back at the cortijo after their winter break and are still laying 2 or 3 eggs a day. I’ve decided to try and get some more chickens to increase my flock . Rather than buying them, I thought it would be better to try and rear them myself so have borrowed one of the neighbour’s roosters. In theory, it seems easy but only time will tell and I’m sure it’s going to be a bit more difficult than I thought at first.

Here is the picture of the rooster:

2013-04-07 09.09.28This is the first day so I collected the three eggs that the hens had laid.

The rooster showed absolutely no interest in any of the chickens. The only action was when the red-breasted, feisty chicken went for him and he reared himself as if to fight but then just ran away.