The long anticipated arrival of our chickens has finally come. The feed shop was full of happy people picking up baby chickens on Thursday, including us. We got six baby chicks, and two baby pheasants.
There are two Rhode Island Reds, two Buff Orringtons, and two Araucanas. All fairly common laying birds, Araucanas are the ones that lay the green eggs. Only one pheasant survived, a Ring Necked Pheasant. Pheasants are usually only raised for sport (to shoot) or generally as an eating bird. They do however lay small eggs and if you keep their wings clipped they will stick around. As a baby, we learned, they shouldn’t be kept with chickens. The baby pheasant is 1/2 the size of a baby chicken and was getting pecked on. They should grow up big enough to mingle, however.
The mudroom is filled with the sounds of little birds peeping. For now they are small enough to be happy in a cardboard box with shavings. Chicks can drown themselves with a tray of water, so you do need to get a special chicken waterer. However for feed, we just cut an egg carton in half and we’re using the holes for the eggs for chicken food. Full circle. And one key thing — make sure your chicks are warm enough! The pheasant and chickens are under a nice warm light and have a blanket to protect their cage from the chill.
Already they have many more wing feathers then when they arrived, and a few have tail feathers starting. They’ll be all grown up in no time!