The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Dark Cornish chicks, week 1

Dark Cornish chick

I'm astonished by the changes I see in our chicks after a mere five days.  When they arrived a few of them had their first wing feathers poking through, but most were pure fuzz balls.  Now they all have wing feathers, and are even starting to realize that they are birds.  Mark moved our homemade chicken waterer to hang on the wall so that he could raise it up a bit, and our chicks decided the empty mounting ledges are perfect for practicing vertical hops.  As a short person, I can understand the urge to be taller than everyone else.

Chicks scratching in their food dishMeanwhile, their food consumption has been doubling every day.  I realized near the end of day two that the chicks weren't actually eating all of that food.  The palest chick has learned to scratch --- he'll hop up into the food dish as soon as I fill it and send chick feed hurtling throughout the brood box.  Kind bird that he is, he taught his friends how too.  Although I'm thrilled that our little foragers are scratching already, the time has come to develop a better feeding system.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm interested to see what you do! Our chicks are doing the same, flipping feed everywhere. They are learning to scratch around in the sawdust to find feed, though, so hopefully they'll be good little foragers.
Comment by Darren (Green Change) Mon Mar 29 17:53:07 2010
I've seen little troughs for sale that have holes just big enough for a chick head but not big enough for them to get in and scratch. Something like that would be simple enough to build out of a small pipe. But I like that they're scratching and don't want to discourage that. I guess we'll have to keep thinking!
Comment by anna Mon Mar 29 19:02:22 2010

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