Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Ideas on Raising Baby Chicks

I never thought I'd say this but one computer is not enough. Kirk has gotten into the habit of doing a little on his computer and then doing a little a short while later and then repeating this pattern throughout the day. He must have ADHD too. Anyway between him and our three grand daughters (who spent most of last week with us),who wanted to watch Netflixs, my computer time just didn't happen.

It wasn't entirely their fault as I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out Cub Scouts and preparing and doing a bazzare. So glad it was no more than five hours for I sat and knitted part of the time and no one knew what I was doing. The notion pouches had notions in them such as embroidery floss, crochet hook, knitting needles etc. They didn't know what they were.

No wonder the advertisement years ago for Charmin bathroom tissue had two women who were suppose to be quilting the tissue but were actually knitting. What has society come to? I think our grandmothers would roll over in their graves if they knew how much knowledge had been lost in just a couple generations. But hey, if you were selling packaged food mix items such as bread or muffins, you were a hit at the show. Yeah, definitely not my crowd.

But though I have been distracted, I have been thinking. You can't stop this brain. It rolls on like a run away train. I read a blog by
 Hoegger Supply company. It's one of the catalogues I order goat supplies from, which reminds me I need to do that. And though I've raised baby chicks for years and years why I didn't think of giving them yogurt? Oh yeah, the post recommended yogurt for your new chicks. It's not like I haven't put it in every bottle of formula I've given to a bum calf, lamb, kid goat, piglet, and even a few foals that I've fed formula to. So why haven't I given it to chicks? Maybe because I don't associate milk with poultry. Except I do give left over goat's milk to the chickens now and then to up their calcium levels. The post's reasoning made perfect sense. This is what it said.

"Encourage nutrient usage and discourage coccidiosis with probiotics.

Baby chickens have been enclosed in an egg and their bodies do not come with bacteria that usually lives in a normal chicken’s body. Once chicks have hatched, suddenly they are exposed to bacteria everywhere – good and bad; in this new frontier, the bacteria that gets established first and strongest is the one that will take over."

Of course my brain went on a little further and thought, why not add fresh goat's milk instead of yogurt? That is except the chicks will arrive before the kid goats. Hm....BUT I do have some frozen goat milk. What would happen with that? My Internet search says that some of the good guys are killed when you freeze fresh milk and yogurt but many still remain so I'm tempted to give some of my frozen goat milk, if there is any left by then, instead of store yogurt. Who knows, I might try both.

The second duh moment was when the post talked about adding vitamin B to the chick's food. This I know stirs the appetite and is a stress vitamin. When our kids were in 4-H years ago, we always gave Vitamin B to our lambs before and during fair to combat the stress and keep them from getting sick. They always came through like a charm -- except for one. Nothing short of a traquilizer would have worked on him. Don't know if he was dying of embarrassment from the shearing job or what but our daughter took him out into the show ring and not even a quarter way around the first lap and he passed out in a swoon. In a panic, we revived him to find out there was really nothing wrong with him as outside the ring once more he was our happy go lucky guy thrilled over all the attention.

Took him back in and low and behold if he didn't pass out again. By this time the ring master was so stressed out she disqualified the lamb and wouldn't let our daughter try for a third round though it was perfectly clear the lamb was just fine. So unless you have a complete spazz case like him, I highly recommend Vitamin B in shot or powdered vitamin form. I'm definitely going to add some powdered vitamins to our chicks feed this year as I have a bucket of it.

Most of what the article said I already knew but the reason for having more than three chicks, other than you had to order twenty-five for warmth in shipping, I hadn't really thought about since it wasn't an option. Even when I hatch my own I always have more than three. Silly me, I always kind of felt sorry for the sleeping chicks that were always getting trompled on and woke up. I guess it's a good thing.

"Chicks do best when kept in groups of larger than three. As tempting as it is to keep 2-3 babies together, there are reasons that more babies mean fewer problems. Baby chicks actually energize each other and encourage each other to eat and drink. Natural curiosity is triggered when the babies see other babies eating and drinking. Sleepy or disinterested chicks wake up and become more
energetic if their peers are bumbling into them."

So even if you have been raising chicks for years, like myself, I'd recommend taking a gander at the blog. Just click on the Hoegger Supply word in grey and it should take you there.

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