June 4th, 2009
It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve been fostering the baby chicks for Hillery Gunther. The weather has been thankfully, overcast and cooler than last week.
They are slowly losing their fuzzy down feathers and growing taller and longer. The cochins’ feathers on their shanks are starting to become more pronounced. There are couple of bold australorps leaping onto my forearms. I’m concerned that the cardboard brooder pen won’t keep the stronger australorps in much longer. I’ve even got a footage of them dust bathing in the pine shavings.
I’m slowly introducing them to eat a variety of leafy greens:
- wheatgreass, tender stalks (introduced last week)
- comfrey (make your own poultice for sprains or broken bones)
- pipinole leaves (or better known as chayote), not the squash
I’m sprouting a small tray of wheatgrass for the chicks. I want to supplement their diet in addition to the dry chick starter crumbles. Some baby cochins look at me in judgment, “What?! Another day, another trough of this dry crumbles? Bah! FEED ME GREENS!”
When I offer the chicks something new, I rip off teeny, beak sized pieces. The australorps are usually the first to investigate, to taste, to trample over the more shy cochins for the leafy greens. Go figure.
The chicks create this high-pitched frenzied chatter when I show them the bunch of chayote leaves “Ohh, guys, get some greens. The human’s got this green stuff in her hands. We goota have some fresh enzymes! Hey, get the girls here! Greeeens!”
I’m going to incorporate a variety of different greens around my homestead: broccoli leaves, cabbage greens, chard, spinach, plaintain leaf, tender dandelion leaves, etc. My goal is to make sure they develop different gut bacteria for a variety of plant matter.
Next time, when Hillery brings avocado, I am going to offer a small taste to the babies. I’m sure they’ll go bananas over avocado!