Now our little chicks are a day old, its off to the brooder box they go.
We made the call by midday that any unhatched eggs were out and the hatched ones were ready to leave the incubator.
Its officially six (6) out of 9 eggs hatched. We have six beautiful and strong personalities to welcome to our family.
With scrupulously clean hands we moved them one by one into the brooder with the heat table (actual brooder), dipping their beak once into their water and once into their chick crumble (food source) to introduce them to their basic necessities.
Then came time for their Mareks vaccinations. I now understand why so many people do not vaccinate their chicks.
- They come in enormous batches (doing 125 to 1,000 chicks at a time)
- Its expensive for the little we have hatched. (Over $100 for our small batch)
- Its a multi-part process to mix the vaccine to become active.
- The vaccine has a limited life span of only 2 hours. YES, only 2 hours.
- Injecting a chick on the back of the neck is harder than you think, especially if you have never done it before.
- Can only be administered on day old chicks.
To learn how to mix and administer the vaccine for Mareks check out: http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/mdvac.htm
We put them directly onto newspaper for their first day and sprinkled chick crumble around so that they can get use to their food source before we add any wood shavings. Otherwise they will only peck at the wood shavings and not learn about their food.
The brooder is set fairly low to begin with and will be raised higher as they grow each week.
They are cuteness on legs!
Or you can go for the much clearer picture as to what Black Australorp chicks look like, below. Mine won't stand still for a second for a GOOD picture. :)