They’re out in the tractor now! Yes, the little darlings are less than three weeks old, yet I have cast them out onto the cruel, cruel world. Am I heartless? Hah. Hardly. I have been watching the nighttime lows and eagerly watching their feather development. The high dew point overnight is what tends to worry me. There’s enough fluff on those babies still and when fluff, unlike feathers, gets damp, they get chilled. But the weather has remained hot, including overnight (not-very) lows. So they’re out.
All 28 babies are doing well in the tractor. This tractor (6’x12′) is fine for all of them now and I need only move it once a day so far. The high grass is fun for them, I think: they stalk bugs and each other. They fly about like fat sparrows, skip-hop-flapping from one end to the other, releasing the bottomless energy that seems to be the province of the young.
They’re growing well on their chick starter feed (20% protein), but since they arrived I have been supplementing their rations with yogurt- or kefir-soaked scratch, crumbled hard-boiled eggs, and worms from the garden. They also get poultry grit thrown in their food (rocks, basically) to help those little gizzards do the tough job of grinding up their food.