July 17, 2015
Babies: Take II
I think having baby chicks the second time around must be something like having a second child. I haven't actually raised any kids from baby-hood so I can't say for sure, but here's my speculation from what others have told me.
The first time you want to keep them in your house so you can keep an eye on them all the time. You check on them constantly: changing their water any time it gets any bedding in it, filling their bowls when they get less than 3/4 full, raising and lowering their heat lamps any time they huddle or spread out, worrying if they are too hot or too cold, picking them up and holding them... You are overwhelmed by dust and dogs barking at birds but you live with it because they're babies and they need to be watched.
Take II: keep them in an outbuilding to contain the dust, check on them in the morning and evening, refill water and food once/day if they need it, set the lamps and leave them. The happy little chicks really don't need all the fuss. Whenever I do go out to check on them, they are scampering about, eating, pecking at things, napping under the lights, or just standing around together like old ladies chatting.
Lesson learned! Never again will we make so much fuss about some baby birds. Everyone seems happier if we just give them what they need and leave them be in peace.