Chicks at 3 Weeks Old

As you can see, they have their adult feathers now.  There are still a few chick feathers that are sticking around, but they will be gone soon.  We let them outside for the first time today.  They were only out for about 30 minute, and they were a little curious, scarred and cold.  At this age they still definitely need a heat lamp, but they are fine without it for a little while.  The adult hens were interested in the chicks, but we kept them away.  The old ladies won’t play nice with the new little ones.  We will go over integrating new hens into an existing flock in a few weeks when we do it.  All in all, the chicks have more than doubled in size since we got them, and they are doing well.  It is amazing how much feed they consume considering how small they are.  One reminder, be sure you have the heat lamp at a good level above the chicks.  You can tell how comfortable they are depending on where they spend most of their time.  If all of the chicks are huddled directly below the lamp, they are cold and you should move it closer to them.  If they are pushed out along the sides of the brooder (remember, this is a fancy way of saying box) they are too hot and you should raise the heat lamp.  Continue making sure they have plenty of food and water, and they will continue to amaze you by how fast they grow.

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