Our Rudd Ranger chicks are turning from babies into teenagers right before our eyes!
They are growing more “real” feathers, and just like true teenagers, love to act silly and play rough with each other. One of their favorite things to do is run as fast as they can into another chick and at the last second, fly over its head! I gave them a couple branches in the brooder for entertainment. I can see how they would easily get bored in the brooder, but it is still the safest place for them. They won’t be able to go to the outdoor tractor until all the fluff is replaced by feathers on their head. They still have the heat lamp on, especially at night, but I have raised it up quite a bit.
In true chicken fashion, they still continue to love making messes with their feed. As they have grown, (to an average of 450 grams!) I have had to find increasingly tall baskets and pans to lift their feeder and waterer. So far, lifting them off the shavings does really help cut down on mess. If the waterer was simply on the shavings, they would knock shavings into it multiple times a day, clogging up the flow, therefore not being able to drink. Furthermore, making my job harder by having to clean out their waterer 100 times a day. So, for everyone’s sanity, raised is best!
They are pretty brave and some come up to my hands when I am cleaning. They are used to seeing us, and are pretty darn cute!
Just a little while longer, and they will have more freedom outdoors. My daughter, who is almost 3, loves to pick little handfuls of grass for them. Her favorite thing to do is extend her arm into the brooder and wait for a chick to come peck her finger! We have had TONS of rain here in Alabama lately, so we all are enjoying the entertainment the chicks offer!