As we have been getting our seeds started, and gardens prepared for SPRING, one of our board members, Haley, has also sprung into warmer weather by welcoming 20 new baby chicks to help provide fresh and local eggs to the community! We are more excited than ever to be able to share and learn along with you, as Haley shares with us how she raises these precious babies! These chicks will eventually provide eggs to be sold at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market - in the meantime, they are an endless source of joy, silliness, and hope.
What you’re seeing in the videos (posted below):
1. Place and setting - Brooder
A brooder is an enclosure used to raise baby chicks, in a warm, comforting environment as best for the chicks. Since they don’t have mama-bird with them, we have to make sure they stay warm (80-90 degrees), feed themselves, and stay hydrated! As the chicks grow and their needs change, we will raise the bright red heat lamp and add elements from the outdoors to ease their transition to the coop. Other elements of the brooder include the pine shavings used as bedding for their poo, rocks in the waterer so they don’t fall in and drown, and their kibble - a special mix just for babies!
2. The unpacking of the chicks
We bought this batch of 20 chicks at the nearby farm supply store. These boxes (that oddly resemble TimBit boxes!) hold up to 8 chicks each and contain some fresh pine shavings as bedding for travel. They were very timid coming out of the boxes, but once they felt the warm light and began chittering with each other, they soon calmed and became inquisitive (a good sign!).
3. The chicks themselves
First, we unboxed Green Egger chicks, and just like their name suggests, they’ll be laying green eggs once they are matured!
Next, we unboxed the Ameracauna and Black Sex Link chicks:
Many people do not know that it is an ART to be able to tell a newly hatched rooster from a hen; Black Sex Link chicks are born color-coded! Haley is familiar with this breed from her last flock.
Ameracaunas are an American domestic breed that varies greatly in color/appearance - in our flock, they’re the ones with the fanciest “outfits!” They will be great layers and fluffy companions!
"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it." -Arnold H. Glasow