Friday, July 1, 2011

Hot Days in Hamburg

Tonight we are all tucked in. The flock has just gone in the coop and I finished the cleanup. The heat was pretty tough on us. Their outside pen is planted in peas 'n oats. The greens are about a foot tall and the birds have trails through the patch. I've been working out some things so they have activity, freedom of movement, and safety. Outside the coop door is an open area with room for the feeders, a waterer and shade shelters. I am trying to have it fixed so that there is shade for all 100 birds throughout the day. Also I want enough feeders so all 100 can be eating at the same time. I got another 3 foot trough so I am ok with that for now. I put netting over the top of the fence to give the hawks some problems. But they are so big and strong they could probably blast right through it. Anyway I feel more secure. So today the birds came out at about six. I fluffed the bedding, aired the coop for the day, and refilled the waterer. Today they drank 5 gallons of water. I watched them for a while. A few maybe a dozen were in the peas-nipping at leaves. Some were running, occasionally pairs were having face-offs to see who was boss. Most were walking around or just standing. The little tiny chick has started growing finally. She is the still the smallest but she is catching up to the others. Most have feathers all over except where they are having growth spurts. They don't look nearly as ugly as they did 2 weeks ago. Anyway by 8 they are ALL eating grain cereal. It is non-GMO grains with vitamins and protein. Probably a lot better than the cereal I was eating.
Today it was so hot most birds got in the shade, fluffed up and settled on the cool ground. They have good instincts. Then tonight I brought down more grain and grit for tomorrow. After hurting my arms last year I put stuff on the dolly and tow it. No more carrying the 50 lb bags... I put down a new layer of bedding and filled the waterer. When I opened the door to the coop and got out of the way, about a third zipped right in, another third went for drinks and more feed, the rest didn't move at all. Before dark I came back and scooted them all in and closed the door. The windows were all open and the temp was down, so they will sleep alright. Tomorrow is another day.

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