Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ca commence: Chapter 1 -- Farm Fowl

When caller ID tells you that the U S Government is calling at 7AM on a Tuesday morning it can only mean one thing. Your baby chicks are at the post office! And sure enough the voice on the other line confirmed it, "You hear that peep, peeping? You've got chickens waiting on you to pick 'em up." So, into the car and towards the great metropolis of Sparta we headed.

Walking in to the lobby of the post office and being able to hear the chirps coming from behind the wall of P.O boxes is just about as giddy as I get. Brad and I have been working for the past few weeks building a brooder, securing a reliable source for all natural feed, and cramming our heads with chick raising information. For our first non-hobby laying flock at TCF, we decided to get 40 Buff Orpingtons, 25 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 25 Ameracuanas and 11 Black Giants (101 chicks, I can't resist a good Disney reference). I held the box full of peepers in my lap as we made the drive home from the post office. This was a big moment for us.

We put the shavings in the brooder box, got our feed, waterers and grit ready to lay out and then one by one, the chicks entered their first home. (we decided to use grit from one of the creeks on the property because of the higher natural mineral content and the diversity of particle size... for anyone who decides to go this route, carrying a bucket full of wet creek bed is a two man job). The first night was a little nerve- racking. Would the brooder box hold in the necessary 90 degree temperature for our ladies on a 35 degree night? We laid a blanket on top of the heat side just for a little extra security. It's day 3 and so far so good. We've had a few casualties but that's just a part of this whole process. Another big bite of learning curve; sure tastes good.

Brad on the heat lamp side of the brooder.

The nourishment side of the brooder

The Boom Boom Room

Old reliable, our temperature controller.

1 comment:

  1. jeepers, creepers, you sure got a lotta "peepers"