Alive and Stinking

Chicks day 4

I mentioned at the end of the last post that there was one little chick I didn’t think would make it.  Well, it appears that my second attempt to force the little guy to drink some water was successful. Four days later, they are all still alive, starting to sprout real feathers on their wings, and are stinking up the joint like you wouldn’t believe. Thank god we designed to brooder to be outside. Gag me! Until they get a little bigger we’re just going to deep-bed them, meaning add more and more clean chips on top of the dirties.  I want to properly clean out the brooder, believe me, but I can just imagine 26 tiny heart-attacks caused by Godzirra (that’s what we call ourselves when we open the lid to feed or change their water) tearing apart their little chicken city. We’ll wait until they get a little older and feistier before we go in and destroy Tokyo.

12 thoughts on “Alive and Stinking

  1. Even Godzirra has no defense against the chicken stink ray!

    If you get ten people with chickens together in a room you’ll quickly get 15 different “authoritative” opinions on how to raise them. He’s ours, thought its not authoritative. :-)
    Our experiience was that the chicks sometimes ate the litter so we eliminated bedding altogether. It meant cleaning the cage every day which is a great idea if you have no life other than your chickens and can avoid hitting them with a cold draft when you invade the brooder.
    Deep bedding can have the disadvantage of causing a build up of ammonia in the brooder, which can cause health problems in the birds. This can be especially bad if the litter gets moist from loose droppings or water from the drinkers. The problem usually begins to happen as the birds get bigger and you get more poop-per-bird. Good ventilation is expecially important if you decide to spare Tokyo!
    I never did figure it out. Is Godzilla a good guy or a bad guy?

    • Thanks! Godzirra is decidedly a bad guy in the eyes of the chicks. They haven’t gotten the food/person connection yet. 4 days old, whaddygonna do. I’m definitely not going to use deep bedding for more than another week or so. Because, ew.

  2. so cute even if stinking to high heaven. Since we lost our prized mama hen that always sets for us we may be in the position of needing to ‘raise our own’ Are these all one breed or are they mixed?

    • Oh that’s too bad about your hen :( These are all Freedom Rangers, destined for the dinner plate. I do have 5 wonderful layers as well (Barred Rocks, Ameraucana, Buff Orpington), but they live in their own palace on the other side of the house.

      • Anna – I decided that I wanted a bird with a higher yield than any of the heritage breeds could promise, while also being able to forage and act like a normal chicken. There are a lot of different ‘ranger’ hybrids out there and they were originally developed in France as a less creepy alternative to the white Cornish X that is most commonly raised for meat. Once I decided on going with rangers, I found the Freedom Ranger Hatchery in PA had the best price and I just liked their vibe. I am very happy with these chicks, they are active and none appear to have any deformities or creepy hybrid problems, and so far I would recommend them. Although the final test will be in 9 weeks!

  3. Oh so stinky! We are deliberately avoiding chicks this year because of it. We deep litter our layers over winter to add more heat to the coop. It’s been quite some time now and every time I walk in my type A personality is desperate to muck it out and start fresh, ugh! I am looking forward to your updates on the Freedom Rangers because we have been talking about trying them out next year.

  4. we had cornish cross last year in the late spring. we were daily greeted with “stranger danger!” every time we went into the coop. they never figured out we were there to care for them. then we got freedom ranger chickens in the late summer. what a difference!!! they were actually curious about us and wanted to get to know us. no more screaming and running. my muck shoes became their friends. and then we put them outside – what a hoot. they cleaned up the foliage around the coop in no time flat and still greeted me every time i went out to check water and feed. i will continue to get the cornish cross for those families who want a BIG chicken, but will get the freedom rangers for the joy of raising them.

    • Yes, I liked the Freedom Rangers. We ended up with some very big birds, so I have no desire to switch to Cornish X. I can’t imagine going any bigger!

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