Spring brings many new things - and this spring we've added new baby chicks to the homestead again. There are 4 cute little peeps currently housed in a large plastic bin with heat lamp in our living room! Soon to move out to the greenhouse, and the eventually (when they are old enough to be outdoors with the other hens) we'll introduce them to our older girls in the hen yard. These peeps are now a week old, and growing quickly. The feather tips are sprouting and they are trying out their "flying" by darting around their enclosure and flapping their little wings. We are using a great book called Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy Healthy Chickens Naturally, (she also writes a great chicken blog) with loads of tips on getting the chicks off to a healthy start using herbs and other simple natural approaches to bedding, cleaning, an so on. Our daughter and her friend made up a special chick herbal blend last week in preparation for the arrival of the peeps - using herbs like garlic, lavender, chamomile, chickweed, nettle in a dried mix to supplement the commercial chick food. We've lined the bin with bran (which they can eat and does not cause complications for their digestive systems like straw bedding could at this age), and they sleep on a pile of old wool socks in the corner under the heat lamp.
Here are a few photos of the little peeps when they had just arrived - named by our almost 8 year old: Cloud, Cranberry, Cherry and Freckles.