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Posts Tagged ‘brooder’


Yesterday was big day here at home.  My “baby” turned 7; we had company; I had a luncheon, and a staff meeting. I headed out early in the am to get a cake mix and my son called to let me know chick were here!

Do I need to tell you it was a fast trip in and out of the store?  😆  We got our new babies home, and put them in the brooder. Last week, when we got the extra three, we knew we were rapidly running out of room in the original brooder.  Hunny started working on a bigger place for them, but as of yesterday morning, he wasn’t done.

There was no doubt that the babies would get trampled and smooshed if we didn’t get the other one finished soon.  Hunny had planned on painting this one bright red, to match the barn/tractor/coop, but time was of the essence.

By the time he finished in the evening, we both knew painting wasn’t going to happen.  😆  Into their new digs they went!

                                    

                                                     

Things went along very well until we were ready for bed at 9:30 pm.

And then somehow, we had a crisis.  Pumpkin (second batch of chicks) started pecking at Butternut’s (first batch of chicks) tail feathers.  Then there was blood. 

Something to know about chickens is that they don’t clot real well. Blood on a chicken will cause the others to peck at it mercilessly.  If this isn’t caught, the others will peck the bleeding one to death.

Bad news.  Panicked mama.  Crying kids.  Late night.

I got the bleeding to stop, but didn’t have any Blu Kote, which is blue due to the gentian violet in it.  (gentian violet made me giggle, because this is something frequently recommended to nursing mothers who have thrush, which is a yeast infection on the nipples and in baby’s mouth; bad, bad stuff – but I digress  :lol:).  There’s other stuff in Blu Kote besides the gentian violet. 

Because it was late at night and everything was closed, the only course of action was to separate poor Butternut overnight. Now the question was, how do I keep her warm overnight?  I only had the one brooder light.

I filled up the hot water bottle and covered it with a towel.  But I wasn’t happy. Then, I got the brainy idea to put the original brooder into the new, bigger brooder.  We measured it, and lo and behold, it fit, with a ton of room to spare. So in it went.

My son stayed up all night.  Well, all night until he fell asleep.  😆  I went to bed around 11:30 pm; was up around 1:30 am; back up about 3:45 am, at which point I sent him to bed since he was asleep in the recliner.  I was back up before 6 after getting back to bed around 4:45 am.

I ran off to Tractor Supply first thing in the morning to get the Blu Kote.  It has not been easy to get Butternut back in the mix without Pumpkin picking at her. So much so that Pumpkin got a time-outs in the smaller brooder.  And then someone picked her open again, so stop bleeding, reapply Blu Kote, dry, reintroduce. When Pumpkin tries to pick- she gets a time-out. I am pretty sure Butternut will be isolated again tonight.

And to top it all off, we’re getting a foster chick this afternoon.  This chick is the same age as my older girls (2 weeks today) and is the only remaining chick out of a flock of 20.  😦  Apparently, one of the kids (prolly their neighborhood kids) left the back door open and in came then family dog, who found the chicks in the stock tank in the house.  By the time they got in, there was only one chick that was still alive. 

She is going to order more, but until they come, we’ll be keeping the chick so that she can be socialized.  Normally, the suggestion is to quarantine, but given that her chicks and mine started out together and that neither hers nor mine have been around any other birds (including wild birds), it should be ok.

I really hope it’s not another long night, because I am wiped out!  I have to say, I am not used to this amount of excitement at any one time.  Whew!  Here’s hoping there are no more injuries and no more excitement!

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Yes, it’s true.  There is such a thing as chicken math, and I have completely fallen victim to it.  😉

I can’t say enough how much we loooooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeee  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ our chicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Friday, Hunny had decided thy weren’t as dumb as he thought they would be, and was carrying them around the house. He also agreed that getting a few more wouldn’t be a big deal.  😆  Since I had only gotten 1 Barred Rock (BR) (Rocky) and 1 Buff Orpington (BO) (Butternut) and thought they were awesome, the initial plan was to get 1 more of each.

But then I got to thinking (and this is where the chicken math kicks in 😀 ), that K had gotten a Producing Red (which is an mix, as I understand it, between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire Red) and it was cute and friendly. So now I want one, too.  😆 

Since the red lays brown eggs and is a higher egg producing hen than my Easter Eggers (EEs) (which lay blue/green varitey eggs), combined with my BR and BO, who will also both lay brown eggs and are higher producing egg laying birds, I figured I should also get another EE to balance things out.  😆  (EEs are the hatchery version of the Ameraucanas. When doing research, it seems that if it comes from a hatchery, it is an EE, but is wrongly tagged as the Ameraucanas.  While it carries the blue egg gene, it is not true to the breed.  Knowlegeable chicken folks will tell you that if you want *real* Ameraucanas, which are rare, you need to find an approved breeder.)

Down to the livestock store I went, getting there bright and early by 7 am, hoping they had some left. Well, shucks, they had sold out all 1,5000 chicks by 2 pm Friday, the first day the sale “officially” started.  “You can order them,” I was told.  Because there were others ordering as well, it was not a problem for me to have a total order of 4 chicks;  1 of each different breed.  Yippee!!

Now, if you have researched getting chicks, you will know that hatcheries have a minimum order (mostly because chicks need to stay warm during shipping, although there are some that will ship lower numbers but charge you significantly more).  Tractor Supply (TSC) has a minimum order of 25 chicks total, although you can mix breeds in increments of 5.

To bring them home from TSC, I would need to get 6. I had been to my local TSC on Thursday, and they had some chicks.  Problem was, they only had a straight run (which means boys and girls) and they had no idea what was in the tank.  Interestingly, both TSC and the livestock and feed store get their chicks from the same hatchery.  Why one place knows what they are getting and the other one doesn’t is a mystery to me.

But I digress.  🙂

So, ordering from the feed store made sense to me.  My question was, what kind of time frame are we looking at?  When I had gone online at the hatchery early in the season, everything I wanted wasn’t going to be available until May at the earliest, and since I hadn’t ordered then, it seemed to me (without checking, of course) that a new order would be even later in the season.

This would mean that I would have two set of chicks that were very different ages, which would necessitate a second brooder and worries about integrating “flocks.” After talking to the folks at the store, though, they seemed pretty certain that they would get all the other ordered chicks in about two weeks, based on years past. I couldn’t help myself, and took the plunge.  😆

Now that a few days have passed, I figure, even if it takes longer for them to get here, I would not be too worried about getting set up for another brooder.  Given the way this batch of chicks has grown, I am not too sure that it will last them until they are ready to be outside, so chances are good that we’ll need to make them something bigger anyhow.  And if that happens, I’ll have an empty smaller brooder, perfect for baby chicks.

See!  It all works out!  Chicken math is something that folks going into chickens need to be aware of. 😉 My hope is that I don’t end up with roos, because I’m pretty sure that would be a problem.

There is nothing like hearing the cheep cheep cheeping from my girlies.  I also think there is nothing quite as fascinating as chick tv, either.  On the second day, they were trying to fly, and it is crazy how fast their wings grow!! By the time I had them for a day, they were trying to perch.  Even though the perch wasn’t that high, there was much falling off, and limbo practice going on. As you can see in the pictures below, roosting has been conquered, although they don’t do this at night yet.  Lately, there has been much bickering and shoving to get the “sweet spot” on the perch.  😆

♥♥♥ my chicks!!!

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I got my afternoon shopping done so I was ready for my chicks in the morning.  I went to Tractor Supply to pick up the few remaining items I needed and ended up drooling over the chicks they had there.  They couldn’t tell me what they were, though, and I could tell that they didn’t have any of the Easter Egger/Ameraucanas that I really wanted.

So.  When I got home, I called the livestock store to find out if they were going to let any go tonight before the sale tomorrow.  He said if I could get there by 5:30, I could get my chicks.  So off we raced!  I got there with 30 minutes to spare, and back home.  Before I left, I called my good friend who is also getting chicks (we were going together in the am to get them), but she didn’t answer.  We called several more times. 😆

I made it home by 5:15 and she called me and literally ran out the door to get hers.  She got inside at 5:26.  😆  We now both have chicks!  They had gotten 1,500 in for chick days, and I’ll tell you, there were only a few hundred left by the time *I* got there.  Another friend is going down tomorrow, but I’ll warn her to get there as early as she can.

I now have 4 EEgs, 1 Buff Orpington and 1 Barred Rock.  Hopefully they really are all girls.  😀

Hunny had just gotten home, and the other night I was mulling over a re-purpose of the old computer desk bookshelves that had been in the girls’ room.  While I got them set up, he went about drilling and remaking the shelves into a brooder.  He even drilled holes for the “perch”- the stick the girls found in the backyard.  The chicks seem to be loving it!

This brooder took him about 10 minutes to make.  🙂 Then he went out and got me an electronic thermostat for the light. Love my hunny!  ♥♥♥

   

I’m loving it!  If you don’t see me around much in the next bit, it’s because I’m busy watching chick tv.  😆

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