Friday, May 2, 2014

Meatie Update: Week 1

Meatie Update: Week 1

 A week ago today I picked up my 26 Meaties. I cannot believe how much they've grown in just a short week!

They have out grown their brooder, yet again, and will soon have to be moved into something bigger!

I've been having to change their bedding daily, they are a bit (OK, very) crowded in their current brooder and I'm desperately trying to rig up something bigger to put them in. Anyone have some plans for a quick "chicken tractor" or an easy DIY brooder?

I'd been having issues with the Meaties kicking their bedding into their waterer, so I moved it up onto a brick to elevate it some. It seemed to work well, until I discovered the waterer was setting at an angle, and the Meaties were roosting on it and therefore knocking it over and spilling all their water into the freshly cleaned brooder. *big sigh*  So I fixed the problem by adding another brick to my platform and it know works brilliantly! No more scooping soiled shavings out of the water. Ick!

I have been added a couple glugs of raw organic apple cider vinegar to their water and I haven't noticed any problems with the Meaties having pasty rear-ends. I know it must be the ACV that is work it's magic, as I have another brooder full of babies I hatched out of the incubator, that I've been giving just plain water to, and about half of them have pasty rear-ends. Going to add some ACV to their water and see if I can't clear up that issue.

I have a feeling we're going to be going through quite a few bags of shavings, judging by the way I've been going through them.

The Meaties have been going outside in a playpen just about everyday, when ever the weather is nice and warm. 

 This picture shows about how big the chicks are now.

I'm already starting to notice a few cockerels in the group. ;)

For the first few days I gave them the normal dry chick starter. But after they got settled in I started fermenting their feed. It took them about half a day to get used to it, but they soon started eating it without any trouble. They seemed to really love it, however I stopped feeding it as they were going through it so quickly and I didn't have the right kind of feeder for it. Plus they were getting so dirty from running through it and "playing" in it. For the time being I switched back to dry feed, but as soon as they move to a bigger brooder and can be outside every day I will start feeding it again. 

As soon as I get some seed, I will begin growing some sprouts for them. I think I'll wait a little big longer before I grow strays of fodder for them, as I don't think they can handle the tall shoots of grass yet, but I think they could easily consume some smaller sprouts. 

This first week has gone by rather smoothly and other than a few minor issues with their water/feed it's gone great!

The Meaties are an extremely calm breed and don't freak out or try to run away when I put my hand in the brooder. In fact, they are very friendly and like nothing better than to just sit in your hand and take a nap, while pecking at your shiny ring! ;)

To be continued next week:

Blessings - 

~ Aspen

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