baby chicks

by Brigitte
(Omemee, Ontario Canada)

Hi there.

We recently started raising chickens, and well we are so lucky to have had one of our fertilized eggs hatch. Our goal, of course, is to make sure that we can produce our own eggs and meat, without having to buy new animals all the time.

My question is, with this baby chick will it eat small amounts of grass and will the momma bird try to help feed it (like a wild bird in a nest would)? We give them a daily supply of grain from the store. However we have also been giving them all kinds of scraps and such.

So do I have to buy some kind of "chick starter" with these new chicks or can I leave them to their own devices?

Also with goats can you tell me which is the best kind to get for meat and milk?

Our household goes through a bag a day that means 4 liters here is Canada (cause I am not sure if you are in the states or Canada). We have three bags of milk in a 4 liter bag, and it costs roughly about 5.00 a day. So in a month, well you do the math! LOL ! :)

I have never tried goat meat, however I am more than happy to have them as we have some friends who will buy them and eat them!

Also, with potatoes and corn, now I have a full basement with cold cellar and I would like to know about storing potatoes and carrots and root vegetables? Someone told me to put them in dirt? I don't know. Got any suggestions?

Thanks! I will probably be picking at your brain for a few years to come.

Brigitte in Omemee Ontario Canada

Comments for baby chicks

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Baby Chicks, Goats, Root Cellaring
by: Sue Merriam

Hi Brigitte!

Although I?ve never allowed any of my eggs to hatch out, from all I?ve read, mama hens do an excellent job of raising their baby chicks, and will teach baby how to find good grass and eat bugs.

If baby is in with mama, then I would recommend giving both starter feed. If both mama and chick are in the same area, it will be hard to keep baby from eating whatever mama is having for dinner. And while it won?t hurt a grown chicken to eat starter feed, it will hurt a baby chick to eat layer ration, because of the high calcium level in the layer feed. Little chicks who eat layer ration can suffer serious kidney damage.

As for goats, the best goats for meat are boar goats, while the best dairy goats ? as far as I am concerned are Nubians. They are a good-sized goat and produce rich milk. What you could do is buy a Nubian doe and then breed her with a Boar buck. The kids they produce could be raised for meat.

You said your household went through 4 liters of milk a day. On average, a Nubian goat will produce about three quarts ? or a little more than three liters of milk a day. To ensure you have a good supply of milk, you might want to invest in a couple of Nubian does. You can always use the surplus milk to make cheese.

Congratulations on your cold cellar. You have a real treasure. An excellent guide that I would recommend is Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel. According to their book, potatoes need to be cured for two weeks. before you store them to allow their skins to toughen. Spread your potatoes out in a protected area where the temperature is 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 to 22 degrees Celcius) and make sure they are not exposed to rain, sun or wind.

After your potatoes have cured, keep your potatoes in a cold, damp spot where they are not exposed to light. You can keep your potatoes in bins, but handle them gently to make sure they don?t bruise. It?s better to keep your potatoes in small piles rather than one large heap; that way, the potatoes at the bottom don?t bruise.

In addition, allow air to circulate around the potatoes. You should also cover your potatoes with straw, sacks or shavings to prevent condensation. Don?t store your apples next to your potatoes or your potatoes are likely to sprout.

As for carrots, spread about an inch of sawdust along the bottom of a carton and lay your carrots on the sawdust side by side. It?s alright for them to touch, but keep them in a single layer. Then cover them with another inch of sawdust. Continue alternating the carrots and sawdust until your box is full, and then top it off with sawdust.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have. I love having my brain picked.

Happy Homesteading!

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