Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Chicks have Arrived!

Baby chickens in the coop

Thursday morning the Mail lady delivered two boxes with 105 Cornish-Rock chicks.  They were riding in the back seat.
The coop was set-up--- papers were spread on the wood chips, the heat lights, dishes and trays were ready. Out of the box, all the chicks got a drink of water to practice swallowing and they went into the 'small chick room' to spend the next two weeks. [The coop has 2 rooms, one about 4' by 10'--the small chick room. The other is 12'by 10' and is the main room as the birds get to be adults.]
They have little eating and drinking trays that I fill about 4 or 5 times a day. I also change the newspapers once a day and adjust the heat lights so the temperature stays between 80 and 95.  The chicks can move around so they can get in warmer or cooler places if they want to.  Their gizzards don't have grit yet so I put tiny ground rocks in their mash and dry feed so they will be able to grind up the grains they are eating.
Every time I come into the coop, I just watch to see what they are doing. I've noticed they are eating more each day.  I added one and now a second 12 opening feeder.  I try to keep ahead of them.  Yesterday i noticed that their wings are starting to get feathers.  The growing up starts right away. So now I am off to the evening feeding......

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Coop

Chicken coop in empty field---A new beginning!

This winter when the ground was frozen,  I helped the chicken coop migrate to a new piece of the pasture.  It is on a patch of clover and meadow brome grasses that have been planted over the last two years. In the background you can see the Ark and the trees out by the road.  I just leveled the coop and mounted it on concrete blocks to keep it out of the dirt. It got cleaned, disinfected and painted inside.  A new beginning for the coop.
From the coop the chicken yard can stretch out to the north, west and east.  The coop is starting new on organic ground with organic clover and grass plants.  This flock will have a fence that goes to the
west, toward the Ark.  I am ready to put that in next week.  The boxes with the chicks are coming late next week. Monday I go to the feed mill to get the feed mix that this flock will be getting. It is a mixture of grains with nutrients..... all organic.
 Part of the coop has a partition so I can make it into a big incubator.  For a couple of weeks they need the temperature at 90+ degrees.  So I have 2 heat lamps in there creating 'hot spots' and then the chicks can move around to be comfortable. For a week or so I go in every few hours to watch them, check their mush and water, and see if any chick needs coaching.
So I am excited waiting for the babies to come!!