Dinner Flock; Week Two

This is the Dinner flock at two weeks as of this Tuesday. On Tuesday I weighed two random chicks and they were both 1lb; they are right on track, and even a bit larger than normal. At three weeks they will be 2lbs. Keep in mind, these chicks basically doubled their weigh every few days for the first two weeks. The chicks started out weighing only 1oz each, and they now weigh about 16oz each. Now that slows down a bit, they will only double their weight again after a whole week instead of a half week.

To give you a real good idea of just HOW CRAZY fast this growth is I’d like you to look back at the Dinner Flock on Day One and see how big they are compared to the water bottle in the second photo. That is a 16.9oz Deer Park water bottle (my sister drink bottled water religiously and I upcycle a lot of her bottles). No, really, go and look at it. Really LOOK. See how they barely come up to the bend in the bottle and they’re about as wide as the bottle itself? And they’re right up on that bottle, too.

Here is a picture from a few days ago, Sunday, right before they hit two weeks.

I have a bigger waterer for them now, a one gallon. I put the bottle in during feeding time for a comparison and couldn’t get them as close to it as the first picture… But you’ll note from the one in the background they’re about as tall as the whole bottle now. They’re also beginning to truly feather out. Tail feathers, chest feathers, belly feathers… They’re all coming in. They’re ugly ducklings now to say the least with bald patches where there was down, all now covered in little underdeveloped quills. Bleh. They’re kinda grass to handle right now.

I have been trying hard to teach the chicks to eat their greens. Like children it’s something they don’t like learning. Greens eating is a big part of what drastically affects their flavor. I hung a bundle of greens in their cage and they nibbled at it before eventually ripping it down. I have begun tractoring them in pairs when it’s sunny but they mostly just sit there and don’t want to be out. I mark the heads of the ones that go out with different colored markers, just like I do with the rabbit kits so I can rotate them. I’ve even mixed greens into their feed. Well. I am working on it a little every day and hopefully they’ll be ready to go outside next week!

I have also been trying to wean them off of the heat lamp but we’re having a downright cold summer. Nights are dropping into the 50’s, and wet. I have been spending most of my days with a thick sweater on. The rabbits and adult chickens have been happy but the babies need it a little bit warmer than it is. The faster I get them out from under the warm lamp, the quicker they will get their feathers and get outside!

This weekend is a big bunny weekend. I breed Iams for the first time, wean Kibbles kits early, and move Kibbles indoors where I will operate on her abscess to remove it. She’ll be a house bunny for a couple of weeks while she recovers. I sure hope it goes well… Wish me luck!

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