Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One Week Mark

The oldest chick is one week old today!  It never ceases to amaze me how fast they grow!  All is going well and warmer temps in Columbus has meant the chicks haven't had to be brooded as closely as last week.  The result is a pile of nestlings with an adult close by.  These pics are from yesterday.
This morning with some rain in the forecast, we see more typical brooding behavior, but with the adult sitting much higher:
The chicks also help keep each other warm by huddling together.  As the chicks continue to grow they will be able to regulate their own temperature and won't need to be brooded.  

One question that recently came up was how often/how many times are the chicks fed each day? With that question, I realized that I've never really counted the number of feedings in a day or even the frequency.  The more frequent question is when viewers are concerned that one or more of the chicks doesn't seem to be getting its fair share.  The way feeding time works is the adult will vocalize to stimulate the chicks to sit up and open their mouths wide (called gaping).  The adult presents food to the open mouths and often it is the hungriest chicks that "gape" the most.  When certain chicks seem to be hogging all of the food it is because they are hungrier than the ones that aren't getting fed as much.  The chick(s) that don't get fed much at one feeding are usually more hungry at the next feeding and so then they become the one(s) that "gape" the most (and thus get fed the most) the next time.  And so on...the result at the end of the day are healthy, well fed chicks.  Here is a very nice picture a viewer captured of both adults feeding the chicks at the same time!