This week marks the Rudd chicks’ 2nd week birthday. They are averaging 180 grams now and truly growing each day!
The 13 chicks are thriving and starting to grow in some juvenile feathers. They still have lots of fluff, and still need access to the heat lamp at all times. Weather is Alabama has been warm one day, and freezing the next, so it is important to keep an eye on their temperature in the brooding box. The heat lamp is always on, but adjustments are needed to other surroundings. For example, during the day, I open the garden shed windows to allow some air flow. In the evenings, I close the windows and add a little more cover to the top of the brooder to keep it warm inside.
There isn’t too much going on at this point in the game. It is important to continue giving them clean water, fresh food, and clean shavings everyday. (I usually sprinkle clean shavings on top of the old bedding everday, but give the brooder a good stripping once a week.) As they grow, their urge to scratch grows, and I have found they really love to mess up their food, leaving lots of waste. This week, they got a bigger feeder, and I changed from having a pan under the feeder, to sitting it on top of a metal upside-down bowl (this just elevates the feeder so they cannot get their feet in it to scratch). Trial and error! Haha. Since they are meat birds, it is important not to overfeed them. They get access to food all day, but once it is gone by the evening time, they do not get more until the next morning.
Soon they will be trying to fly out of the brooder, but I will leave that until next time!