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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mother Hearing?

Maybe it's mother hearing, but I can hear cheeping from the guest room, which is where I installed four New Hampshire Red pullet chicks this morning. (I'd show you pictures, but they are really hard to photograph.  Either that, or I'm a crap photographer, which I expect is really the case).  Speaking of crap,  boy, do they crap a lot! I am already seeing a couple of pasty butts, but I don't want to do anything about it until tomorrow when I clean their brooder.  Since they were born (okay, hatched then) Monday, and delivered and placed in their tub at the store today, then scooped up and put in a dark box (again) and then scooped out of the box into the brooder today, I figured that they've endured enough for their first three days.  Poor things.

I've decided to go with the newspaper liner, pine shaving filling, paper towel top because it's supposed to be the easiest on their little legs.  I've just found another good reason to do it.  Since I definitely heard cheeping, I went to check on them.  Boy, do they crap a lot!  So since I won't be changing their bedding until tomorrow, when I will also attack (gently!) pasty butts, I slipped another few sheets of paper toweling under them but over the mess they made.  Piece of cake. (Or pie, in my case. I'm a pie maker, not a cake baker.)

I'm a little concerned about the pasty butt care tomorrow.  As with the bees, I don't want to over handle the little dears.  Funny I should be talking about them as little dears when at the end of their laying life, they are to be turned into stock and fricassee.  I told Steve this evening maybe I should do the rabbits sooner than later so that I'd be used to offing animals by the time their turn rolled around.  Hard to think about that now when I'm feeling somewhat maternal.

Hope I get over that.

9 comments:

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of chicken poop! Fortunately, avian crap isn't nearly as offensive as, say, canine crap.

I wouldn't worry about pasty butts quite yet. Give them a couple days to acclimate to their brooder and their food, and see how they do.

And, just think, you're about 5 months away from your own eggs.

Paula said...

Thanks Tamar! You're right- not nearly as awful as dog poop.

I'm glad you told me not to worry quite yet, because I really want to keep the trauma down to a minimum.

I actually took the time yesterday to mark down every week how old they are until 20 weeks! But part of that is to remind me that I have a hot, hard deadline for their coop.

Rae said...

Paula, you crack me up. Congrats on the new "little dears"!

Lisa said...

Hi Paula.
A latex glove usually helps with pasty butt! It's ok to handle them when they are small. The more you handle them when they are young, the easier it will be to handle them when they are older which is useful for when they need any medical attention.
Lisa

Paula said...

Thanks Rae!

Good to know, Lisa. Thanks!

Jennifer Montero said...

HA! I knew we could assimilate you. Welcome to the world of poultry keeping.

Let me know when the obession with chickens kicks in. Some symptoms include: recognising distinct personalities in your birds, drinking your coffee outside while watching your birds and realising half an hour has passed. When you start talking to them, your obsession has become chronic and incurable.

My brood of hen-raised chicks have poopy bottoms too, but as long as they're eating, drinking and active I don't worry too much. Yellow, frothy or extra-unpleasant smelling is the problem poo.

I'm sure you will find the great company and uplifting little souls, if not a lot of help when you're gardening.

Curbstone Homestead said...

We are on our second batch of chicks this summer! Chickens can be addicting. Our brooder is in our office and I can tell when the chicks have flown out of their brooder because they have distinctive cheeps. Gotta love the maternal instinct LOL!
I do hate the smell of chicken poop though! Just one dropping in a clean brooder will smell up a whole room!

Paula said...

I am looking forward to when they are big girls, but I have to admit Jen, that I've already started talking to them....

Paula said...

Hi Shannon! It's too early to tell yet, but I expect that keeping chickens will be habit-forming. At the very least, I need to get my money's worth out of the brooding equipment, so that means more chicks later on!