DAY THREE – Highlight of the Day:
1) Today the chicks began to scratch and peck in their brooder. I found out they also like to sleep under the paper towels…whew…for a minute thought I lost one!
2) Sassy responds to the chicks peeps. They peep and she comes running to see what is the matter. That is the cutest mothering thing she has ever done!
3) Today Report: Poop. Sleep. Eat. Poop.
If you’ve been following our blog you have read about the new chicks on our homestead. If you have ever had chicks you know just how they consume your time and energy. In fact, they have seemed to take over my life right now!
Chicken adventures day one and two can be seen here…https://smallhousebigskyhomestead.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2046&action=edit
The RIR chicks spent a lot of time napping and resting today in their brooder box. Once or twice they all began to peep loudly so of course I drop everything go and check on them. Nothing looks off, but their water seems very warm to me so I change it out for the Susan Burek cooled garlic and honey water. They sip it and that seems to be just what they need. The peeping stopped and peace again reigns in our household.
Based on herbalist Susan Burek’s recommendation I am feeding our new chicks chickweed, dandelion and a few other greens today as well as the fresh minced garlic. It’s only day three and the chicks are already pecking, beginning to scratch and eating greens. This quite blows me away!
I made a Burek tea of garlic and honey and put it in one of the chick waterers. The second waterer has a steeped green tea made from various organic greens like dandelion greens and chickweed.
Chicks Fresh Greens Tea:
Gather dandelion greens, chickweed, comfrey, and wheatgrass greens and place in a quart canning jar.
Boil water and pout over greens. Let cool. Pour into glass chick waterer.
My goal is to acclimate them to the taste of the garlic from day one and for them to get all the nutritional and medicinal benefits of the raw honey and garlic as well. I used raw honey from our local beekeeper and added some chopped organic steeped garlic I bought at the store. I put that in their waterer today. She does this for at least three weeks.
Chicks Raw Garlic and Raw Honey Tea
Smash and mince four cloves of fresh garlic
Fill a quart canning jar with water and boil the water
Add garlic and steep until the water is cooled
Pour into chick waterer
I will continue this tea for at least three weeks. The greens, garlic and raw honey are all immune system boosters.
Morning and night I clean out the brooder box, putting down fresh paper towels. I always add chopped fresh greens and chopped garlic. I can’t say for sure if they ate any significant amount if either but they are very interested in it. They peck at everything in general and worked the greens around. I did see a piece of green grass sticking out of a chicks moth when they came to drink. If nothing else they are getting used to the smell, texture and taste. I call this a good first step to eating holistic herbs and live greens.
They are already growing too. They stretch their necks up tall and practice lifting and flapping their wings. They run from one side of the brooder to the other. Their growth is evidenced in their pronounced pin feathers.
I used raw honey from our local beekeeper and added some chopped organic steeped garlic I bought at the store. I put that in their waterer today. She does this for at least three weeks.
I also tried handling the chicks throughout the day too. They are a little skittish right now, and peep and squirm, but I have no doubt that continued handling will help to tame them.
I did some more introductions of the chicks to Sassy too. I sat on the floor of the laundry room with a chick in my hands. Sassy hears them cheap but can’t quite figure out where they are located. She thinks they are in the base of the brooder stand and looks for them there. When I hold one in my hand, stroking it, she sits in front of me and watches what I am doing. A couple of times she tried to nose or lick the bird and I quietly said, “Gentle.” I am hoping she gets the idea of what I want. Once she mouthed it but moved back at my command.
Please know that I am not taking credit for these holistic chicken management techniques, this is a Susan Burke developed system. I totally trust her judgment and experience and I am just following her suggestions.
I am getting up twice a night to change out water and give me chick starter feed.
Small House homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna