Chicken Chronicles

Chicks arrived August 8 at one day old.  
I’m so excited. They are so cute. They are also very messy. Meet little “au Vin”, “Marengo”, “Paprikash”, “Quesadilla”, and “Fricassee” and their cousins.
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Aug 9, 2012
Chicken Chronicles, Day Two. The Chicklets survived the night. I think I may need a second heat lamp in there. They make the most amazing little peep sounds. Storey’s Chicken Book says to scatter grain for them (as well as what is in the feeder) so I did so. Sure enough, they all started pecking and hunting. Little balls of yellow fluff rushing around the brooder. I may have to move my porch chair out there just to watch them.

August 10, 2012
The Chicken Chronicles- Day 3. All the little ones still pecking around. They really love to have feed scattered on the floor of the brooder so they can peck and hunt. Just two days and they all rush over to the edge of the cage to watch when I approach in anticipation of the grain rain. 
They are a little taller today. 
There is an East wind blowing this morning so we’ll leave the garage door shut for them. An entire summer of 90 degree weather, I get my chickens, which need about 95 degrees their first week, and the temp drops about 15 degrees. 
I’ll start working on their permanent home next week.

August 11, 2012
Chicken Chronicles- Day 4
I am in Kentucky, chickens are in Michigan. Spousal and filial units are chick sitting. I hope the little blighters are okay (the chicks, not the guys; the guys seem to be able to take care of themselves.)

August 13, 2012
The Chicken Chronicles- Day 6
My apologies for missing day 5 but the guys were at the fairgrounds yesterday so I wasn’t able to get an update until I got home late last night. The chicklets are trying to fly, well, fly as much as chickens come. I’m worried because Marengo keeps popping up under the heat lamp. I could end up with a bald chicken if he hits the lamp. I wonder if it is hot enough 
to singe his feathers? They are getting bigger. Tall and leggy. It is amazing to me how fast they grow. A couple of them are developing “personalities” enough so that they stand out in the crowd. They are the ones that walk over to the chicken wire and watch me when I open the door to feed them, check the temp, etc. They will get closer to me when I talk to them as well. Most of them just hang out with one another in one area or another and pretend I don’t exist until the grain rain occurs but these 6 seem curious. I have discovered that they like the Beatles. (What can I say, I sing when I work.) I wonder how they would like Metallica. I’ll have to try “Sad but True” tomorrow.

August 14, 2012
Chicken Chronicles- Day 6
The chicklets are ructious today. Kiev keeps sticking his head through the wire trying to get out. I think it is because it is sunnier today than it has been for a while. They are getting taller by the minute and they are certainly feeling their grain. I put some grass into the brooder for them. At first all of them ran as far as they could from that weird stuff but 
pretty soon the braver ones started pecking and scratching at it. 
They all seem healthy (fingers crossed) and at the rate they are growing I better decide on the chicken tractor design today. I can’t decide whether to just do a rectangular design with a flat roof or whether I should go with a triangular silhouette. The triangular would be less mass and it would be easier to “roof” part of it to give them shelter. But that means math to figure out the angles I’ll have to cut on the roof supports. The flat one is pretty easy, no angles to cut.

August 16, 2012
Chicken Chronicles-Day 8
Missed writing yesterday, missed the chicklets too. We are at fair so most of my time is spent sweeping, shoveling, and watching kids ride. The chicks are growing like crazy! They are three times the size they were when I got them. I will post a picture tomorrow. 
I have aplan for the chicken tracto now. Lee F. helped me design it. It slopes, I can “roof” it and it 
will be portable so the chicks can enjoy the grass, etc. Yay. I’ll buy lumber this weekend.
For now, rain coming down, horses upset because the stall shutters are down, kids hyper because thy are all inside and can’t run around. On the up-side, the kids can sweep and scoop…after all, the horses are theirs.

August 17, 2012 
Chicken Chronicles- Day 9
The chicklets are starting to look like chickens, tall, skinny, funny feathered chickens. Have to clean the cage today. Probably won’t happen until late, after fair tonight. They are getting very curious about the outside world and they now associate me with the handfuls of grass I’ve been throwing in there. They all mobbed the lone clover flower this morning, pulled it apart in seconds.

August 19, 2012
Chicken chronicles- Day 11
I cleaned the cage. They were not happy but suddenly the god-of-grass-clippings showered them with with green goodness, their food was replenished, grain was scattered, water flowed like justice, and all was once more right with the world. http://instagr.am/p/OhZYhYLMtS/
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August 20, 2012
Chicken Chronicles- Day 12
Herb day for the chicklets. I cut the flowering tops of the herbs in my citrus herb garden and tossed them into the Palais. The herbs smell so good, the chicks mobbed them. Some of them are trying to fly around now. They hustle and bustle. 
I’ll pick up the wood to build Versailles de Poulet today. They have more time in the Palais but I want to get it done before school starts next week.

August 21, 2012
Chicken Chronicles- Day 13
The chicks now associate the opening of the garage door with food (and light?) As soon as the creaking begins the cheeping begins. They start flapping around and cheeping and running and look at me with great disapprobation if I show up without some form of munchy stuff. They definitely like the clover best. They go for the little yellow flowers first. I love watching them, I know it sounds silly, they are not particularly bright, but they are so antic. The ultimate adhd animal “Oh, look, bright, shiny” and they crack me up. And no, don’t worry, I will have no problem with their transformation into dinner. I guess it is more like dinner theater, just a really long show.

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