Meet Dottie, she’s a LeghornX at almost 3 months and my little trooper in the desert heat. Smart and resourceful to say the least. Unlike the other members of the flock, she cools off in the little pool provided and takes full advantage of the mist system.
Most of the flock is looking a little rough from temperatures ranging from 110 to 117. Not to mention me, definitely not feeling my best battling the heat while bringing them ice and fresh fruit during the day. But this is what chicken people do right? We love our birds no matter what. Ok, I’ll be honest, sometimes I do question myself on why I purposely add more chores to my life by keeping chickens!
But isn’t it funny how the drudgery of chores are forgotten when they’re all done? Maybe it’s the fresh smell of pine shavings in the hen house, or the basket full of pretty eggs.
But one thing for sure, when I’m heading back to the house, that last glance behind makes it all worthwhile. I feel blessed seeing my happy feathered family busy scratching in the dirt looking for natures little chicken treasures.
• What Fully Feathered Silkie Bantams Look Like
• Brooder to Coop, Suitable Outdoor Temperatures
The Silkies are 6 weeks old and ready to leave the brooder. They’ve been raised in an insulated shed with natural light, and their only source of heat was radiant heat provided from a Brinsea EcoGlow.
Night temperatures were between 48 and 55 degrees, and although I veered from the golden rule of keeping the brooder at 95 the first week and lowering the temperature by five degrees each week, my chicks showed no signs of discomfort. I usually don’t move chicks from the brooder until 7 or 8 weeks, but being kept in cooler conditions they must have feathered quicker.
Here they are, Fanny, Jo, Pat, and Randi. Happy, healthy, thriving youngsters in their new coop. Which ones will stay or end up in the sale pen will be a question answered when they’re about 6 months old. This breed is nearly impossible to sex, so the only sure way is to wait for the eggs, or hear the crowing. I might just keep one rooster and give that No Crow rooster collar a try.
Note: Remember to acclimate your chicks to cooler weather if they are being raised inside your house. Chicks raised under a heat lamp and kept at a consistent temperature may take a week or two longer to fully feather.