Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Week 4 - Getting Bigger

Today the chicks are 22 days old, and they are starting to look like little chickens instead of big chicks. They are almost completely feathered out and are flying and running around like crazy. No losses or sickness that I can tell. They seem to really enjoy being outside with room to roam and forage and enjoy the sun shine (it rained all day yesterday).

I raised the roosting branches a little higher the other day and put a step behind the heat box to encourage them to get used to jumping up on top of stuff and roosting.

They have been foraging and eating lots of grass as well. The grass in the pen started out about 8-10 inches tall and is now down to 3 inches in just one week. Today I start switching the feed from 23% Chick Starter to 20% BTG Grower. I bought 300 lbs. yesterday, I just hope that is enough to get through another 3-4 weeks. I am filling both of those 24" feeders twice a day now. By the way, I am only using locally milled "Dr. Jim Z's (Zamzows) Premium - All Natural Feed". Its the "Highest Quality Hand Crafted feed that is Medication Free, Urea Free, Meat and Bone Meal Free, and Pesticide Free. I get it at the Feed Mill in Meridian Idaho.

[UPDATE] Well Saturday was very warm and the grow out pen is about worn out. The grass is down to the ground and the poop is starting to smell. So we moved the chicks from the grow out pen into the hoop house. It was more work than I expected. We cornered the chicks in the pen and caught them one at a time and put them into a large dog kennel and then wheel barrowed them out to the hoop house in 2 batches. This was a good opportunity to count them and all 46 were there as expected.

The single chick that I gave to my friend Mary is also doing well and is helping to raise a bunch of day old chicks that she hatched out of her incubator. The meat chick is so large that the hatchlings apparently think that it's their mother. 

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