Chickens from Scratch (part 2)

If you missed our humble beginnings, make sure and check out Chickens from Scratch (part 1).

It seems to be getting harder to blog about homesteading as we begin to practice homesteading.  It does additional time during our days to learn about and care for our flock.  I get impatient sometimes, wanting to have a complete homestead right now.  This has been a great lesson on taking it one step at a time.  There is a learning curve, and by growing our homestead slowly we can learn without getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

Housing

The chickens have been growing fast and quickly out grew their rubbermaid tub home.  We had a large wooden crate/box from our move, so I turned it into a chick box.  Because it wasn’t very tall, I put chicken wire over the top to keep them from jumping out (I didn’t realize how high they could jump!).

We kept the heating lamp on them until they were about 1 month old and had plenty of real feathers.  Our nights have been pretty mild lately and they are now kept in the garage, so it has been warm enough to remove the lamp.

We continue to change out the shavings/bedding as needed, making sure it stays dry.

Feeding

We are continuing to feed the chicks the same growth feed that we bought when we got the chicks.  We have also began to feed them scraps such as veggie peelings, left over cornbread, etc.  The girls have been so excited to find grasshoppers to bring to the chicks.  All the chicks flutter and fight for the little critters.

We had to nail a small piece of wood across the box to hang up the water.  The chicks are scratching more, kicking up the shavings into the water container.  Keeping it off the floor has helped it stay cleaner, longer.

Training

We have been taking them out for a bit each day, letting them peck and scratch and look for bugs.  They seem to enjoy it, but I now know where the term “chicken” comes from.  They get scared at the slightest things and all huddle up together.  If one of them gets separated from the group, you can hear her calling out to the other chicks with a “crying” chirp.  She frantically looks for the group and they look for her.  Once they are reunited, all is well.

Up Next

We have been working on a real chicken coop, so I will keep you posted on how we did it!

 

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