Notes from Windward: #69


Chick Update

the Cuckoo Marans take the next step

Camille writes:

     The Cuckoo Maran chicks now live in a new home. Oana and I moved a large tractor tire to a sunny location on Windward property and placed a metal hog panel with chicken wire attached to it over the top. I am sure their growing bodies appreciate the extra space. Right now the weather is cool and the black tire absorbs warmth. When the hot weather comes to stay, we'll roll the tire in among the shade trees, but this batch of chicks will have out-grown their tire brooder before then.

the Maran chicks in a tire brooder

     The chicks seem to eat everything we give them very quickly. As I walk by their habitat I frequently peak in on them and usually must refill their feeding container (an upside down Mason jar full of dry chick feed screwed into a metal base with small chick-sized circles allowing access to the food. The jar replenishes itself as the chicks eat the food.) A carpet of woodchips soaks up the poo the chicks produce, but the wee beasties like to kick the floor around and chips end up in the water (another upturned Mason jar). One of the advantages of using a Mason jar rather than a dish is that the chickens cannot kick whatever is on the floor into their food. To reduce the amount of contaminant in the water dispenser I placed the container on a plank of wood resting over the woodchip carpet.

     The chicks constantly talk to each other as they move and flap about. Their voices still have a much higher octave than the fully mature chickens on the farm, but they continue to grow every week. The frequency and pitch of their chirping increases if they observe a difference in their environment (like a human observer or the change of their environment as gigantic hands reach into their space and take their food bowls). When spooked they franticly and wildly flutter about the tire but the round rubber walls keep them from harming themselves.

     People randomly say very interesting and insightful things about the nature of the world at this place. To me, sharing ideas is a form of intimate connection. I think listening to people is interesting when they feel the same way about what they are saying. In a format such as this someone mentioned that ecology and biology are fundamentally observation. This is my experience with caring for the chick babies and the way people can learn from their environment. When we listen to and watch the activity in nature we can learn. I think it requires patience and a yearning to understand.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69