Paper towels to cover the bottom? Check.
Heat lamp? Check.
As we brought the chicks in, I checked the temp inside the brooder. Woa! It was hovering around 120 degrees. YIKES! I took the lid off and moved the lamp while we set up the bar along the side of the brooder to raise the lamp just a touch.
Once we had the lamp a little higher and the temp a little lower, we plopped them gently into their new habitat through the little door we had made. With each new chick, I dipped their tiny beaks into their waterer so they'd know right where it was located. After releasing them, each chick immediately went to the light and huddled together.
|Cute, cuddly, cold chicks.|
We watched the as they shivered and huddled.
A short time later we returned to check on them. They were finally dispersing and drinking and even eating. Eureka! We had successfully transferred our new baby chicks to their new chickie home.
|Starting to disperse just a bit. |
No longer huddled in one big heap.
I checked their temperature a couple times before bed. It was hovering around 90-95 and they all seemed happy. Eating, drinking, sleeping. Not overly clumped as if too cold; not plastered against the sides as if trying desperately not to become roasted chicken.
|Even venturing out to eat and drink a bit.|
The Next morning I checked again. All looked good. Little chickie poo on the paper towels, temperature steady, chickens happily eating, drinking, sleeping.
By that night they continued to flourish in their new little habitat. I had noted a couple had poo that looked like it was trying to 'stick' to their bum feathers. But... otherwise.... all was well.
The next morning as I changed their paper towels, checked their food, and refreshed their water, I noticed the bums on several little chicks were looking crusty. Like the poop wasn't dropping off, but sticking there and building up. A little research showed this to be 'pasty butt'. I texted my resident chicken expert friend and she told me to simply 'pull it off'. Use a damp cloth if necessary, but get it off. That's pretty much what I had read too, but... wanted to confirm b/c it all seemed pretty 'stuck on'. I didn't want to harm our little chicks.
However, if I left it, they'd no longer be able to excrete their waste. THAT wouldn't be good.
So.... that's just what I did. I got warm, wet paper towels, picked up one chick at a time to determine if their little bums were effected and began washing their little tushes.
Yep, you read that right. I was washing little chicken butts this morning.
I gently moistened and pulled off the dried on poo and placed them back under their heat lamp after dipping their little beaks back in the water dish. They need to know where that water is so they can stay hydrated. Especially after being stressed by my 'handling and washing.' Poor little things.
Upon finishing this tedious task, I walked out of the back porch to find Silas - our cat - perched on the foosball table in Elijah's room. The perfect roost - pun intended. This spot has a window behind it looking out into the back porch..... where the chicks are located. I think this is going to become his favorite location in the house until these chicks are eventually moved outside.
|The perfect view of the chicks! Fortunately, they are perfectly safe with the window b/w them and the cat.|