Tomorrow is March 1st, and I have Spring on the brain… spring flowers, spring chicks, spring projects…
Yes, I said spring chicks. Our local Tractor Supply will have chicks in starting this week and I intend to go and take a look … and see what they have. I know, I know… I said I would much rather let one of my hens go broody and raise chicks than raise them in the brooder and have another painful integration process. BUT… I want to get a few more of the gold sexlink chicks, if they have them. And now that I know what we’re looking for, I hope to get little hens. So… we’re thinking 6 -10 chicks, no more, and then if Abby (or anyone else) goes broody over the spring/summer, they can do their thing, too.
But ‘new chicks’ leads me to our first spring project — a revamp of the dreaded brooder box. This is our brooder box.
Dad built it a few years ago to raise pheasants in. It had a wire bottom and … I’m not sure what he used to keep them in, because it didn’t have a top.
Last year, DH stapled that square wire over half of it, and we covered it with boards and a sheet of window glass to keep the chicks in and predators out. He also replaced the wire bottom with plywood. It was a pain in the ass, and very make-shift.
This year, I’ve asked for an actual door that opens and closes on hinges. Two of them, in all honesty. One on each side of the middle beam (you see there). This, so I can open each side and have better access to the chicks, and for cleaning.
I spent part of yesterday cleaning it out and vacuuming with the shop vac. DH framed it up and started the lids, but then we ran out of hinges and latches, so it was off to Lowes.
He’s at work to day, so not finished yet, but I took the time to scrub the sides and bottom with white vinegar. It has time to dry and air out. I’m hoping we’ll be finished soon.
The Fence is our other on-going chicken project. The ground is still too solid to put up the fence, but we’re prepping by mapping out where we want it to go and discussing things like ‘how tall’ and ‘where will the dirt bathing area go.’ With the talk of new chicks, Dad had the idea to divide the run so that the new Littles can use the run and not get attacked by the Big Girls. I’ve also put in a request for ‘shade tents’ so that they have little places to go and hide from the sun. I’m thinking a triangular design, something light-weight that I can move around, but won’t blow away (hopefully). This because, once the fence goes up, we’ll be taking away some of their favorite shadey areas out front of the barn. Like the grain silo, or under DH’s truck… or My Girl’s car, which they have also been using as a place to dirt bath. They are sooo going to hate the Fence.
My last Chicken Project (also on-going) is Chicken Fodder. I mentioned it a few weeks ago. I’ve started soaking the seeds today, and I’ll have a post next week sometime, to show you all how it went. Wish me luck!
Lastly… here’s Pip’s Week 13 pic.
EtA: Wordpess just told me… this is my 100th post on this blog. Yay!!!