Thursday, 13 August 2009

Chicks move house

The chicks have been developing at an alarming rate. They haven't particularly grown. Well, they don't seem to have grown. But their feather development is amazing. It started with the wing tips. Now, one week on, they all have proper (albeit Lilliputian) feathers on the ends of their wings.

The Sassos are developing much faster than the Ixworths, which is surprising as they are at least a day younger (and given they are only 6 days old, that's quite a difference). The Sassos are also much more inquisitive and bold than the Ixworths. All three of them are quite happy to step onto a hand to be lifted out of the lunar module. Two of them are quite happy to snuggle down in my cupped hand and go to sleep. One of those two is the one who likes to be at the front of the photos, and s/he still likes to have a good look out as soon as the door is opened. Yesterday, s/he even hopped up on to the sill while the door was open then had a little roost.

The Ixworths are quite different. They don't like to be picked up at all. They also have an inbuilt need to scratch around, so as soon as we fill up the food trough they jump in and start hoiking all the food out with their feet, making that backwards and forwards Salsa movement. It wouldn't be a problem except that the floor of the Lunar Module is a grid so that the poo - and the hoiked out food - falls through. We're getting through lots of chick feed, so maybe it wasn't such a bad thing that I got a 20 kilo bag after all.

We've decided that they now need a bit more space and a bit more stimulation, so today we're moving them to their next home, in the shed. There they have a more traditional circular pen, with a big white light infra red lamp suspended above it. There is a different style of feeder, so they wont be able to hoik the food out. The flooring has Aubiose on it though, so they'll be able to scratch about to their hearts content. We're also making an inner ring of cardboard, so they will be able to have an inside and an outside. This means they can get away from the heat lamp if they wish.

We've moved the lunar module in there for a few mins for now so they can get used to the sounds and smells of the environment, before we transferred them.

Watch this space!

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