Captured Moments – Fall Chickens – Update

The chicks came home with us on August 25, 2017.  Our first foray into raising chickens in the fall.  It has been nice that keeping them warm has not been an issue.  I had forgotten how fast they grow.    Here they are on September 04, 2017 12 days old.  They are already losing the fluff and feathering out.

It didn’t take them long to decide they wanted to see the great big world outside the brooder tank. I got our old mobile coop ready and took them out there during the day when it was warm while I cleaned their brooder.  This was very different from the spring chickens we have raised.  I would need to place them in a kennel while I cleaned because it was too cold to take them outside.

They loved going into the mobile coop.  As soon as they were a bit bigger, I moved them there with a pet carrier filled with hay, so they could go in at night.  As they get bigger they will be able to climb into the roosting area.

Here they are September 28, 2017 . Thirty-six days old.  They have grown a lot and they are changing color.  The golden sex links are getting more color, kind of a reddish blond and cream.  The red sex links are turning a deeper red with some brown and black on their wings.  

This is the only one with a prominent comb at the moment.

I love the coloring on this one, a lovely golden color.

We can’t put the chicks with the older hens yet, they are too small and I have seen the chickens attack birds at the bird feeder.  We also read that this breed does not mix flocks well.  We will see.

Sad update:

Leave it to hungry predators to show you where the weak spots are in your coop.  The mobile coop doesn’t have much ground protection due to it being mobile.  The large coop has hardware cloth extending past the bottom, out two feet, covered in dirt and then large rocks.  This has kept the digging predators at bay so far.  Our little chicks were not so lucky.  We lost one of the red sex links last night some time.  The digging looked small, possibly a possum.  Our predators are possums, raccoons, and foxes.  I have spent the morning reinforcing the area around the base of the mobile coop.  I will be glad when the girls are big enough to go in with the older chickens.

Captured Moments – Trying something new – fall chicks.

Good morning,

Most farm stores sell day old chicks in the spring.  It takes about five months to reach laying age, so if we buy in March, we can expect eggs starting late September.  It is still cool here in March and the need to shelter the chicks and keep them warm is crucial even without us reaching freezing temperatures.

In the last few years, one of our farm stores has started carrying chicks in the late summer.  It wasn’t until this year that we decided to give it a try.  We bought six chicks, three golden sex links and three red sex links.

This is what the chicks are sent home in.

Arriving at their new home

We had their home ready, a stock tank with cedar shavings, water, chick feed and a warming light.

They seemed to like exploring their new home and would all run from one end to the other.

We knew we would have to rearrange the food and water as they grew.  We also found that being summer, we did not need as much of a heat source to keep them comfortable.  The chicks will let you know if they are too cold or too warm from where they go in relation to the heat source.

We have cats.  So we needed a good cat proof top.  We had an old Ikea frame we have kept for years (we keep everything it seems, never know when it will come in handy, and it did) It fit the top of the tank perfectly.    My husband added some stops to keep it from sliding and hardware cloth.  Since it is not very cool, we can set the heat lamp on one end on the wire.

One of our cats is fascinated with the chicks.  They didn’t seem to be afraid of him.

Settled in for Cat TV.

Here they are at four days.

So far, I think I am enjoying the fall chicks more than the spring.  Our temperatures are still hot in August and do not cool until late October and sometimes later.  These girls are growing fast and will move into the small mobile coop soon.

Updates to follow. 🙂