Posts Tagged ‘chicken coop’

Chick cuisine

It’s getting harder and harder to take pictures of the chicks, because now they peck relentlessly at my fingers, and the camera(!) whenever I try. Here’s the latest picture of the scruffy lot, taken yesterday at 33 days old:


They are very rapidly starting to look like miniature chickens, rather than baby chicks. A few seem to have “all” their feathers, while others still need a while to finish “feathering out”. The current plan is to build their outdoor coop next weekend, so that’s when they’re going out. I should start weaning them off the heatlamp soon in preparation for the big move. Oh, and because the universe is weird that way, it looks like I might be getting a contract to write a short manual on “Building a Chicken Coop” this month, as well.

They are voracious eaters. The 25kg sacks of organic “starter” feed I bought them are holding out well, it looks¬†like the first sack will last 6 weeks, and hopefully the second will last another 4 weeks after that – then I’ll switch them onto regular adult feed, and start supplementing with minerals and grit. A woman I met at the Cornwall Eco-Farm Day event recommended giving them a separate supply of minerals and grit, even if the feed has the minerals mixed in, because if a chicken needs extra minerals, they will eat more feed than they need to get the extra minerals. Of course the ultimate plan is to let them free range and find their own extra minerals and protein in the form of bugs and worms.

For now, they are getting kitchen scraps, which they love, love, love. On the weekend I made a chick pea & potato curry. Since the information I’ve read ¬†and found online is split 50/50 on whether or not chickens can eat raw potato peels, and my chicks are still very young, I figured cooking the potato peels for them wouldn’t hurt. So I peeled the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the two inches of liquid that was left in the bottom of the slow cooker after cooking the chick-peas in it, and let the whole lot simmer for half an hour. Later I let it cool, and added the extra brown rice left over from the curry. I ladled it into the little metal tins that were the bases of their baby feeders, before they graduated to the bigger metal trough, and set it down for them. They went NUTS. Watching a chick grab a piece of potato peel, then run around the enclosure with another chick chasing it – better than TV!

They must have been disappointed yesterday when all they got was a measly single tin of asparagus ends and yellow pepper seeds & innards from my dinner omelet. Oh, and a handful of grass clippings I tossed them while I was trying to mow our horribly overgrown lawn.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the scythe I ordered to deal with the aforementioned overgrown lawn, and also to keep the field cut around the fruit trees in the orchard. All of which are doing very well, by the way.

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