They are one week old and growing fast. Our chicks come from Vega Farms in Davis. They are always full of life and very fresh. They hatch over night and are delivered to the farm by midday. Once they arrive we make sure they have fresh water to drink to which is added just a little organic sugar to give them a little boost. Cracked organic corn is laid out on cardboard trays for them to eat. This is the best food at first while their digestion gets going. On the second day we start to put out feeders like the one in the picture which contain a high protein organic chick feed. Thermostatic propane infra red heat lamps keep the chicks warm with extra heat at night from electric heat lamps. As the weeks progress the heat will be turned down so that after five or six weeks at the end of April they will not need any heat unless a cold spell arrives.
The chicks will live in this house all their life. After three months they will be let outside. At this stage they are too big for the farm hawks to pick them off easily. After 4 1/2 months they will begin to lay eggs. After two years of laying eggs they will end up in someones soup pot and the cycle begins again. Keeping the chickens beyond two years does not pay the feed cost with the eggs they lay. We all have to earn our keep here on the farm.