Soooo…. it’s been a looong haul! We were supposed to get the older chicks outside in the barn about three weeks ago but the weather kept popping up like the boogeyman and giving us a series of really cold nights – I would have been OK with installing a heat lamp or two and seeing how it went but my dearest has a softer heart than I! So the chicks, all 130 of them, stayed inside. I was going out of my mind transforming our entire basement into increasingly large brooding spaces for them. I became a cardboard extraordinaire! But I was exhausted, even with these new DIY styled improvements I was still down there feeding, watering, and cleaning five times a day. Did I mention the egregious amounts of dust? Holy moly was there a lot of dust!
This past Friday we were finally able to go down there and fix the barn up 100%. We added hardware cloth over the windows in the stalls as well as between each one of them, I wet down 8 bags of Equine Pellets and spread the resulting sawdust, and my dearest put up better locks on three of the stall doors. A heating lamp was installed in one stall (for the younger chicks) and I was left to catch and drag down the chicks in a Rubbermaid, 20 at a time. Before we knew it we had two stalls filled and lots of chicks happy to be running around!
Here the Dorkings are enjoying some mash – a treat to transition them into their bigger digs.
Here the Gold Brabanters are enjoying stampeding a corner of the stall to get away from me because despite the fact I have been feeding, watering, and cleaning them 5 times a day they still think I am Jack the Ripper…
Here are my five surviving White Laced Red Cornish who are SO CALM compared to the Brabanters!! Despite being twice the weight they find themselves under constant attack by their more hyper stallmates. SIGH. I have named the big one, likely a rooster, Ragnarok and he’s my favorite chicken of all of them. He’s just so smart and sweet. I shall call him Rags for short.
The Welsummers have also chosen a specific corner to hang out in… so now I have little gangs of breed specific chickens. Strangest thing I ever did see.
And finally the Dorkings again – by far the calmest birds I have ever met – just chilling.
After we got everyone in their stalls we then decided to make feeding an easier chore for me and built a PVC pipe automatic feeder for about $150 (probably less as we bought some other unrelated things that day.) Here they are waiting to be put up.
And here they are being used!