Monday, March 17, 2008

Picking up chicks is EASY....

....Especially if you are a guy like me!
I told my wife that I was going to go into town and "pick up chicks".
The chicks were really "HOT" - they LIVE under a heat lamp! I even brought them home with me. They are staying in the "guest house" that I fixed up special, just for them.

My wife doesn't even care!

'Course, these "chicks" have feathers......

I stopped at the local Orschlen's store and bought 6 Barred Rock pullets, 4 New Hampshire Red pullets, 9 Buff-Cochin pullets, and 5 "Production Red" pullets. I also bought 4 baby Roosters of an "undetermined large breed". I already have 6 older Roos, but wanted some the same age. I wanted to get more of the Barred Rocks, but they were the only ones left.

I have them in one room of the new brooder house. I started them out in an old bath tub, with chicken wire over the top. They are about 2 1/2 weeks old, so they won't be able to stay in there for long. I plan to build a bigger brooder in the next few days.

Before I brought them home, I decided that I would use wood shavings as bedding. They are old enough to tell the difference between wood and food. I looked around at what others were using and decided to make my own.

I didn't want to use "saw dust" but I have plenty of wood scraps around. I figured that I would run a couple boards through my planer to see what came out. What I ended up with were shavings that were pretty close to what the store had - for a LOT cheaper. It took us just a few minutes to shave a 2x6 down and gather a 5 gallon bucket full.

I dumped in about 1/4 of the bucket to start with, and added more later. I wanted the chicks to get acquainted with each other and their new digs before I added a lot of shavings into the tub. I figure that I will get the amount just about perfect the day I need to move them to a larger home.....

I have a couple of heat lamps in the room over the tub. I have adjusted them several times today to get them set where the birds are comfortable. The temps aren't supposed to drop much tonight, so it should be good to go. I will keep an eye on it in the next few days to see what needs to be done.

While I was at Orschlen's, I bought two heat lamp bulbs. I came home and hooked them up. One worked just fine, but the other would not screw into the hood. I looked at the hood and couldn't find anything wrong, so I looked at the bulb. I found that the base had the threads stamped wrong. They were ok on one side, but on the other side they were pushed together at a strange angle. I ended up taking it back and they replaced it. We have a really good Orschlen crew at this store. They've "gone the extra mile" several times.

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