On sale this week:
5 Pack Avian Aqua Miser Original Kit With Drillbit
Not into blogging?
us on Facebook.
The instruction book for most
will tell you to never use the tip of the bar to cut with because of
the increased chance the thing will kick back on you and cause an
New chicks need a ramp for
their first month, but soon after that they can jump.
We picked up this Intermidiate Bulk
Container for 25 dollars
from a neighbor.
By the time they're a few
weeks old, chicks are already establishing their pecking order.
Little skirmishes seem quite dramatic to the observer, with chicks
sometimes leaping into the air to menace others with their claws...and
yet no one ever seems to get hurt.
Sometimes, the biologist
in me wishes I was raising chicks that are easy to sex by feather color,
just so I could learn more about who exactly is fighting whom as they
establish their dominance hierarchy. Are all of the leapers
males? (I'm guessing so because adult roosters tend to leap and
menace each other with their feet, but hens don't.) Is the
hierarchy established only within each sex, or do males and females duke
it out too?
If you've got a timer
controlled irrigation system you might be able to convert some of that
infrastructure to open and close a chicken coop door automatically.
Can you raise chickens and
Last June, we got the Starplate frame and walls up, then started thinking about the roof. Although no one else had done it that way, we liked the idea of using aluminum flashing, both for ease of cutting and for safety of rainwater collection. Our first stab at it, though, involved too much corner cutting. Furring strips seemed like they might be sufficient to anchor the flashing, but the roof just felt too flimsy using this method. So we backed up, (waited nine months,) and tried again.
Round two was much more
successful. We started out by adding extra two-by-fours in the
middle of each roof triangle, which was simple since each starplate has
extra holes, giving us an easy attachment point at the peak of the
roof. Next, we cut the bottom of each support at an angle to make it easy to screw into the tops of the walls.
Here we are putting the
last piece of flashing on the roof. You might be able to tell that
we didn't cut the edges of the flashing pieces to an angle, just bent
them over so they overlapped the adjacent sides. We screwed down
these flaps carefully, so hopefully there won't be any problem with wind
whipping up under the edges.
There are a lot of
instructional videos on how to make your
own egg incubator.
I posted some photos of our cute chicks enjoying their outdoor brooder on facebook
last week, and several readers wanted to know more about the
brooder. How was it made? And wasn't it too cold for chicks
to be running around outdoors in the middle of March? I figured
I'd write the longer answer here on the blog.
This is the third year
our outdoor brooder has been in use, and I'm 100% happy with it.
Mark would prefer the transparent side be smaller and the whole thing be
a bit more easy to empty out at the end of the season, but those are
minor nitpicks in a brooder that has kept dozens of chicks happy and
safe from predators. You can see our thoughts during the design phase here, and the step-by-step building tips here.
But is it too cold for chicks to be outdoors? In The Resilient Gardener, Carol Deppe writes:
"If allowed to waterproof themselves properly, ducklings can be out foraging in their third week.... Chicks are normally kept indoors the first six to eight weeks."
This kind of early
pasturing depends very much on the brooder being very tight,
though. We turn the transparent side to face south in the early
spring, which heats the brooder up quite a lot on sunny days, and I keep
the door closed if it's going to be bitter outside. And although
it might to be pushing the envelope, our chicks seemed to be fine in the
brooder even when it got down to 18 outside a few nights ago. The
nipple on their EZ Miser did freeze, but it thawed right out the next day when I opened the door to let in the morning sun.
I think Lisa Lynn's post on
getting some "pre-owned"
chickens is a nice way to conclude my series on easy ways to find
Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed.