Another Weekly Update: Week 1 for Baby Chicks

I realize it has been FOREVER since I have done a weekly update. I have been moving a lot of stuff around, cleaning things, etc. I have also been really busy with my Citizen Science Agronomy Program and art. I also returned back to graduate school last week.

Chicken

We got the chicks on 6/6/14, and they weighed 0.09 lbs on average. At the end of the first week, they weighed 0.45 lbs. I was amazed by this, as the cold brooder was supposed to slow down growth.

This is the outdoor cold brooder setup.

This is the outdoor cold brooder setup.

I made them a cold brooder, and placed them in a dog cage for a few days, but they rapidly outgrew it. I then decided to move them outside into a 4′ x 6′ area on the carport floor. The walls are 12″ high, and I am putting chicken wire up to make it a bit taller. All 25 of them survived the move outdoors, and there was no supplemental heat at all. The cold brooder is still in there, and chicks use it to get warm if they need it. The temperature has been pretty high, so they haven’t been using it.

Quails

The quails are in their new cages, and the hatchlings are now outside in their final brooder. I have five females and six males, they are around 0.2-0.3 lbs right now. The females will be split up soon, and most of the males will be put in a separate grow out cage that I am building. I am keeping the three biggest females. Then, I am moving one of my mature males in with them (after a transition period, so they don’t kill each other). This way, I get to mix up the bloodlines.

I was getting between 6-7 eggs a day, but I accidentally left the cage open last night, and they figured out how to get out this morning. I got two of them back in, but one is still missing. I hope it appears again, but maybe it won’t. I will find out soon enough if it was a male or female. Also, quails, if they survive, generally come back to me.

The cooler incubator is on lockdown right now, with temps between 99-100 F, and humidity just above 50%. Our AC broke, so I had a major temperature spike up to 108, so I am hoping they weren’t there too long. The aquarium is going on lockdown this Thursday, and so do the eggs that Brigitte is incubating for me.

Rabbits

This is Speckles!

This is Speckles!

The rabbits are HOT! I am trying to keep them cool the best I can (it was 87 F in the house yesterday, so they are actually pretty cool into the carport). I can’t tell if the three does are pregnant, as it is so hot that they aren’t very active. I didn’t think it was too hot for the buck to breed nearly a month ago, but only time will tell.

I split the groups by sex a little over a week ago. It is so hot that they aren’t eating much right now. But the females gained 0.41 lbs in the last week, and weigh in at 2.53 lbs, over double the size in a little under a month. The males are at 2.58 lbs, up 0.42 lbs from last week, and are over double the size in less than a month. These clearly aren’t meat breeds, but they are pretty efficient nevertheless.

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Meanwhile, the lionhead babies weigh in at 1.21 lbs. They are up from 0.69 lbs, and almost doubled in size in the last week. Proper nutrition is really doing them very well. Their mother is one of the sweetest rabbits ever, i just wish I knew if she was pregnant, and what her due date is. She is getting bigger, but I can’t tell if that is proper nutrition, or something else.

Guinea Pigs

Since I got the baby boars a few weeks ago, they went from 0.67 lbs to 0.84 lbs. This is actually a pretty good growth rate, considering how little they are! The Spring is in with the pregnant girls in the green box, and she gained 0.18 lbs too. The current old girls are still with Jack, moved outside to a new cage. Silkie, my other boar, is outside with four females. He is back up into the healthy weight range. The girls in the green box are gaining weight pretty rapidly, and should be due anytime from the middle of this month to the end.

She appears to be pregnant now, gaining 0.4 lbs in two weeks

This is Cassius (Cass), my new 1.68 lb girl.

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