Monday, March 19, 2012

Silver Laced Wyandottes

Sssshhh! Don't tell my neighbours....I got chicks today! Actually it's not a big secret, just about every kid in the neighbourhood has been over here today playing with them.

They are living temporarily in a big plastic tub in the girls room staying nice and warm with their food and water. You can see them in the picture here. They are just a few days old. I'm going to switch them off straw and onto shavings simply due to ease of cleaning. The straw will tend to mat together. Wyandottes are an older breed that are considered dual purpose meaning both layers and meat birds. So good for a small self-supporter because you can breed and raise your own chicks to replace your older hens. We will likely keep a few different breeds but we generally look for birds that are calm, friendly, large, reasonable layers and will go broody and hatch eggs occasionally. These features will also make them a little easier to manage.

We are so excited to be able to build them a little coop and have it ready for them to move into as soon as they are feathered out in a few weeks. Chicks can be very very dusty so they will move out into the garage soon with a 250 watt heat lamp and a wire cover to keep them safe from visiting dogs and cats. Otherwise they make a very fine dust that takes ages to settle out of the air and it just gets everywhere. Chicks are definitely better raised outside either in a barn or heated building.

Tomorrow I will go pickup a water font and a non-tip feed dish for them but it you're just starting out any dish that's shallow will do. I like egg cartons for feeders and if you put marbles or pebbles in then it keeps the chicks from giving themselves a cold bath when they fall in the water dish...which they invariably will all do at least once.

The look so cute now...pretty soon they'll look all gangly and then voila, beautiful birds!

1 comment:

  1. They are the most stunning little birds and will grow into long laying loyal friends - hope it is all going well.