The Roving Rototiller

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chicks in the shower, week one

Some thoughts on raising chicks indoors, which seems like a good idea in principle.  And then you go to apply it.

All right, the chicken eggs are hatching.  I’ll raise the chicks indoors for the first 3 or 4 weeks.  I need to protect them from temperatures and drafts.  Where can I put them?  Garage--no, it’s too hot in there.  And there’s that giant roof rat living in the rafters; it’d home in on them like a shot.  Too dangerous.  Breezeway?  No, it’s still too hot in there.  And the rat could get in.  Laundry room?  But there’ll be no floor space left if I put a big box in there.  Let’s put that off as long as possible; they can manage in a big plastic tub for a couple of weeks anyway.  Gee, that leaves . . . the spare bathroom.  And since that’s where the cat’s litterbox, food, and water are, let’s not tempt the lazy furball into an act of rashness.  If I put their box in the shower stall, that will solve everything:  drafts, temperature, cat . . . it’ll even give us an extra level of security, for when they start jumping out of the box.  Shower stall it is.

Day one:  oh, they’re so cute and tiny!  I hope it’s warm enough in here.  There's your water, see, and here is the feather duster to snuggle under.  You guys ready to eat yet?  No?  Just sleepy.  How cute.  Get the camera.

Day two:  hooray, you’re eating!  And what a mess you’ve made of your drawer liner.  Let’s shuffle you all off to one side and pull that out.  I’ll just give it a good shaking outside . . . there you are.  No spraddle legs in this batch!  Now that the youngest is awake, how ‘bout some more pictures?

Day four:  oh my goodness.  What is that in your water.  You don’t really need this drawer liner any longer, do you?  Good.  Let’s . . . eewww . . . just go hose that down real good on the lawn, yuck.  I don’t know if this thing can be salvaged.  Here’s your fresh bedding.  You can manage on newspaper and paper towels now--your legs are strong enough.

Day seven:  holy smokes.  What did you guys do?  (Ten little beaky faces look up eagerly:  "Do ya like it?")  All right, everyone out of the box.  I know you don’t want to be picked up; deal.  It’s a good thing you’re all looking for treats in my hands so I don’t have to chase you.  Oh dear, that feather duster is never going to be the same again.  I think you can manage without it now.  Phew, it’s definitely starting to smell in here.  Fresh bedding.  You two, get out from behind the box.  Now.  Why do you have to squeeze in there anyway?  No, Foster, it’s not time for treats yet.  Let me finish.  There.  Now, everyone back into the box.  Aaaand . . . treat time!  Hard-boiled egg.  Look at you guys go!  Hey, move aside there, let the youngest get some.  That’s better.  Man, you’re getting big.  You’re a rooster, and so are you, sigh.  Wing feathers are halfway grown-in already, but you’re still fuzzy everywhere else.  So cute.  Although if I’m going to get any pictures of you lot, I’ll have to do it right after I change your papers again, because . . . yup, definitely too late.  Tomorrow.