We have officially accomplished 5 days of raising chicks. Are they warm enough? Is their water and food still clean? Oh my goodness do they ever poop! All of these stressors fade away with the cuteness and personalities of our new babies. However, one thing is very clear. Someone in the brooder is quite messy. I know, I know. They are chickens and chickens are messy. I do know this but c’mon. I told everyone in my first post I had OCD – Obsessive Chicken disorder – but the OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – is not far off. Can’t I have some cleanliness for more than 5 minutes?! As soon as I clean the paper towels lining the brooder, at least 4 of the 6 immediately poop. I have also found that as soon as I fill the feeder “someone” comes over – when I am not looking – to scratch out loads of feed all over the brooder’s floor. So my question daily is “Who Dunnit?” Who pooped in the water font? Who spilled out feed? Just to give you an idea of what it looks like after the feed is kicked out, here is what I found one day:
After taking time to monitor the situation, here are who I consider the top suspects:
1) Sammy – she is very cute so she has the “I’m too cute to cause trouble” factor working for her. She is also very active and always zipping around.
2) Captain – you always need to keep your eye on the quiet, unsuspecting one. She is always lurking in the background, not drawing attention to herself like her brooder mates. Hmm….
3) Stretch (otherwise known as Spots) – Again, has the cuteness factor and like Sammy, always zipping and flapping her tiny wings around the brooder
So, who dunnit? SAMMY! Every time I take the time to clean or fill the food, she is the first to run over. She then jumps onto the feeder and does what chickens do – scratch. She pulls as much food out as she can and doesn’t even scratch around to eat it. It is then totally wasted. And I am not a fan of waste. Is it fair to totally blame Sammy, no. They all do it but Sammy seems to enjoy “tormenting me” the most.
So here’s what have I learned: 1) to fill the feeder only full enough so they can eat but not pull out the food, 2) to move the water as far to the side of the feeder as I can (to avoid flying food and backside messes), 3) to keep the paper towel roll very close to the brooder, and 4) to spend more time watching and laughing at all the antics that happen on the brooder floor.