The Chicks Are 16 Days Old

Ah, they grow up so fast!  Everybody has cute little wing feathers, and Paulette, precocious chick that she is, already has sprouted tail feathers.

Courtney contentedly poses with a couple of her kids
Paulette is proud of her new tail feathers
One postscript on my March 21 post about the chick nursery:  I'd suggested that paper towels were a good thing to use on the floor of the brooder coop.  They really do work well for all the reasons I talked about in that post.  But, I’ve never had a broody hen in the coop with the babies before.  New advice: If you’re planning on using a hen, forget the paper towels.  Courtney is constantly scratching the floor in an attempt to unearth treats for her babies.   There are no treats down there, Courtney--nothing but a wooden floor!  When the weather gets warmer she can take the kids outside and scratch in the dirt and then she'll be a whole lot more successful in finding buried treasure.  In the coop the only product of her efforts have been huge paper towel tumbleweeds!  When she was just sitting on golf balls the floor stayed pristine.  After a single day with chicks, the coop floor was down to bare wood with lots of piles of crumpled up paper towels.  The morning of her second day with the chicks I found that one of the paper towel wads had wound up in the chick water font and had wicked out all the water.  So not only was there no water to drink, there was also a big pile of soggy towels!  That’s when I got rid of all of the paper towels and put down pine shavings.  The pine shavings have been absolutely fine.

Finally, I have been focusing all my recent blogs on Courtney and the chicks.  There has been a certain amount of grumbling among the other hens that I’m playing favorites and that they’ve been forgotten about.  So to set things right, here’s a sketch my wife Kathy made this week in the hen yard when everybody was out enjoying the spring weather.  There you go, hens--now you can stop complaining!
The Hens

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