Of course, just because I’d gone to visit the goslings, it didn’t stop me taking delight in meeting a tiny flock of brand new Welsummer chicks and Cuckoo Marans chicks! A few weeks old now, they have the same type of heated house that the goslings have, allowing them to run around outside in the fresh air as and when they feel like it, but with a nice warm house to retreat to if it gets a bit too nippy for them. The black and white mopheads are Cuckoo Marans, and the brown mopheads are the Welsummers.
As the Light Sussex chicks become slightly larger, their poops also become slightly larger – it’s the law of inevitability 🙂 Towards the end of the week we’re changing the towels they walk/run/sleep/poop on, twice a day. However, by this stage they’re also pretty sure what their food looks like, in the shape of chick crumbs, so we’re safe to move them on to quality pine shavings. It’s a well-timed plan, they’re all air-lifted into a waiting pet carrier (“Rescue Pod 1″ as it’s known here, as it brings all sorts back), then clean shavings are added to their run, to between 1 and 2 inches deep (2.5cm – 5cm). We also take the opportunity to raise the drinker and feeder by aroud 4cm, low enough for them to reach each, but high enough to prevent a mass of wood shavings from clogging them up – they’re more feisty now and have a tendency to kick shavings high up – I’ve even cleaned poop from the side of the drinker, 8” high – they must be firing cannon balls! We’ve also raised the lamp slightly, and during week two is a good time to begin bonding with your Light Sussex chicks – we pick them out one at a time and gently hold them close, so they get a feel for us. This said, Light Sussex are generally a calmer bird than many, and you can even see this in the chicks themselves. Our last lot of Derbyshire Redcaps were the exact opposite and I’m not sure I would have handled them as chicks in the same way! Five minutes close won’t harm them, you’re warm enough to keep them happy.