Hot Chicks learn to drink

Hot Chicks learn to drink
Two chicks

Two chicks posing for photographers

So while we got Sam and her chicks in one pasture, the mail order hot chicks (eight days older) are quickly taking over the South Forty. Here’s a couple pictured, when they were a week old and doubled in size, but they’re even bigger now. The one on the left is an Ameraucana, the one on the right is an Egyptian Fayoumi. The former is an “Easter Egg” chicken that lays blue/green eggs (assuming it’s a hen). The Fayoumi is a heritage breed that we thought would be an interesting addition. You can Google this stuff if you need to know more.

We’ve had to move them out of the office and jury-rig a larger brooder (in the big yurt for those who know the place).

Chicks in yurt

The interesting part has been teaching them to drink. Or at least teaching them to drink out of a nipple. For the first five days we just had water in a shallow waterer, which works but requires constant attention since young chicks like to sit in, spill, and yes, shit in, their waterers. So we made a waterer out of a pail and these watering nipples we got online from a place called Farmtek. I was not convinced the chicks would be able to figure the new system out. Didn’t seem intuitive from a young chick perspective to me.

So I installed the nipple waterer and left their regular shallow waterer in place for about 12 hours.

The online forums suggested that because chicks are naturally curious, they’d discover the nipples and when they got rewarded with water they’d quickly figure it out. Apparently that’s true. The next morning I removed the shallow waterer and left them with nothing but the nipple waterer:

Of course they’re a bit spooked just because there’s a camera in the room. But you see how quickly they figure it out. After seeing this video, I figured the pail was actually placed a bit low, and raised higher so the chicks could drink tilt their heads up, making it easier to get a drink. They appreciated that.

P.S. – Yes, eventually I’ll get back to dogs, art and bourbon.