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Ana's flock

Baby chicks

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I think I've become a mum... again! this time is 4 little chicks. The other day one of my neighbours who works at a local school asked me if I could give a home to some of their newly hatched chickens. Yesterday (after reading on the internet about different ways to sex chickens) my two boys and I went to see them...


The boys took a cardboard box with them... I should have guessed! After looking at various things (length of feathers in wings, little pimple missing from vent, paleness in colour etc etc) looking for females, we came home with 4 of the sweetest little babies ever! (with my knowledge of chicken biology chances are they're 4 little cockerels and won't get an egg out of them! - but they are sooooo cute!) :roll:


The thing is that possibly because they've been handled by humans since they were born/hatched, now they think I'm their mum, and if I move away from their box they start to try and get out of the box to walk around my feet chirping loudly... I haven't done a stitch of work all day! So here I'm being followed by the 4 chicks like in that episode of Shaun the Sheep! :P


I've put some normal chicken feed on their box and I think they're eating it... fingers crossed...


Any advice on how to look after baby chicks welcome... please! :?


Will be taking pics of them soon and post them... see how many of you get broody too! :twisted:


Bye for now


New 'mum'

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You need to keep them warm all the time so they need some sort of lamp to hudle round but you need to be careful they can't touch it or they will burn :shock:


Have you done any reading on this etc it is not as easy at it looks :?


They should be fed chick crumb as adult food is too big and hard and is not good for them and they need a shallow dish of water with something like a stone in the middle to try and stop them drowning which they are very good at :?

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Thanks Louise - As soon as hubby comes back I'm off to get some chick crumb.


My granny used to keep chickens and I remember about the light bulbs. I'm going to put them next to the radiator for now so they get warmth through the cardboard box (the house is normally rather warm anyway), and I've got a little ramekin with water for them. I've put a nice layer of hay as flooring for the box.


...and they've stayed in there for the last 15 minutes with occasional soft chirping. Perhaps they're settling in! fingers crossed!


I hope they'll be fine. When we got Kingsley and Buffy they were very young too, but not as tiny as these ones. Both Kingsley and Buffy are now absolutely huge!!! :P


Ooops one of the little ones has left the box and is coming over...! :?

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Good luck, have you thought what on earth you're going to do if they ARE all boys? I see you've already got a boy so hopefully you're rural, I wouldn't envy you with 5 cockerels! :shock:


I know nothing about raising chicks so can't help, get reading and researching is all I can say :shock::?:lol:


Mrs Bertie

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Oh no! I'd never be able to kill them! :?

I'm off to put the pebbles on the water - thanks for your advice - it really helps!


If they're all boys, well, we'll have lots of pet cockerels! I did do the three checks they advised on one web site: look for the more timid ones, the ones who tend to hide rather than the inquisitive ones that stare at you and chirp (apparently females have a more developed sense of survival...), then the longer primary feathers and shorter secondary ones... and finally try and spot a little pimple around their valve (bum)... no pimple, more chances of hens...


Mind you, with all that in mind we ended up picking up the ones we thought were cutest - difficult choice as they were all absolutely gorgeous... :roll:

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I think vent sexing is a bit more complicated than that - you have to hold them in a certain way and press a certain way to expel any poo then visualise the internal vent (professional sexers use a special insrument). I wouldn't try it as you can damage them internally if you press too hard in the wrong place.


I tend to watch the feather growth - the girls often get their little 'fairy wings' at the shoulderblades and tail feathers before the boys.

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ooops, oh well, I'm not going to be squashing the poor little things to see what comes out of their vents.


I suppose if in a few months' time the ones who start cockledoodledoodling and trying to jump on the hens I will know those ones are boys... the ones dropping eggs will be the females and that's as far as my knowledge of chicken biology goes... ah yes, one end eats the cat food and the other poops on my kitchen tiles. :?

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