Monday, 19 September 2011

May 2011 - Chicks come home

Our box of chicks
So the time had arrived for us to fetch the chicks at Guinea Glen by the Crags. We had ordered 20 un-sexed Koek-Koek chicks, and when we got there the woman asked us if we would be interested in some Buff Reds too.. so we bought 5 of them as well, and got 2 extra on top of that in case some perished on-route home.

We drove slowly over the Prince Alfred pass again, and the chicks did not make a sound all the way. Not even one!

Jan hard at work on the coop

Having arrived home, and knowing we had not yet completed their new home, we had temporarily borrowed a chick-box from our neighbor Gary. :-) This would keep the chicks warm and dry till they got a little bigger. And we set about finishing the coop. Most of the structure was done, though we needed to clad it still, and just add some finishing touches like the chicken wire, some hatches for them to go in and out of, and some other sundry things.. We ended up borrowing Gary's chick-box for the best part of the following month.

The basic structure completed - more or less...
The Chookie - complete...almost

We managed to get the coop almost completely covered by recycling the old worn zinc from our stoep. But we didn't have enough for the whole coop, so we had to use some builders plastic for the back. This would keep out the worst rain and wind at least for the time being.
We were still using Gary's chick-box at that stage, and the chicks were thriving. After about 6 weeks they were too big for the chick-box, so we organised a lamp for them to stay warm, and a feeder, and water trough for them in their new home. At this point we still had not lost one single one, and they were all happy. :-)

The little chicks in Gary's Chick-box
We made sure we had plenty of saw dust for them, and they just did their little chick business, and grew.

We were having a little difficulty telling them apart though, and only recently have we been able to actually tell who is roosters, and who is hens...
One Koek-koek chick..
I have found them most entertaining, and even though they might not be the brightest animals around, they do still have personalities. Or at least I like to think so.. we have named a couple now.. Our main rooster, Mr. Rooster is a proud Koek-koek rooster, with gorgeous plumage, and a good vocal! He is king of the flock, and the roosters that are left have all accepted him as leader. In the same flock we also have Kleintjie, and Squeak.. Kleintjie is a small koek-koek hen, she has remained small than the others, and is only now catching up.. after 4 months. She is our only black koek-koek hen. Squeak got her name cause she like Kleintjie remained small for long. She is a thin little hen, and her vocals have not developed well.. so she can't cluck, but will rather squeak... kind of like a chicken with laryngitis...hehehe.. The rest of the chicken story I will tell later... :-)

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