I Don’t Even Know Where To Start

This spring, I had great intentions to keep updates about the garden current.  Once the weather warmed though, I have been frantically trying to clean up flower beds, get the garden planted, tend to chicks and bees, and work.

I’ll start with the chicks.  I received my meat chickens (broilers) 2 weeks ago.

baby broiler chicks  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/ A boy and his chickens  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/

Last year, I housed them in the barn and lost several chicks.  I thought it was from the drafty barn.  This year, I set up the brooders in the shed and have lost even more.  Of the 25 chicks I started with, I now have 17.  The chicks were divided between two of these tubs and each had heat lamps.  Chicks from each tub have died.  My brother-in-law has 25 from the same batch and has not lost any.

Time to regroup.  Again.  I decided to make the back of my shed a brooder.  We had some plywood left over from another project, so that became the front wall.  Allen built a screen to go over the top which will keep them from flying out.  Their wing feathers are almost completely in and they are trying to fly about as we speak.

brooder for chicks  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/

As soon as they feather out completely, they will move to the chicken tractor.

I also purchased another type of heat for the brooder.  I had used a heat lamp which is most commonly used for brooders.  (This is the red glow you see in the above picture)  I had a feeling this was too much for the black tubs I was previously using.  Chicks need a way to escape the heat and the black tubs may have kept the entire tub too hot and not giving them a chance to cool off.  The new heater is radiant heat.

EcoGlow chicken brooder heater  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/

No hot light 24/7 and they are able to come and go as they please.  Another big reason for switching is this

heat lamp damage in chicken coop  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/ heat lamp damage in chicken coop  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/The heat lamp hangs about 6 inches above the tub shining into a corner.  This happened when the heat lamp moved more to the side of the tub.  This is very thick plastic so you can imagine how hot those lamps are.  I’m just glad I went out to check them before I went to bed.

Another reason for the new brooder heater is this

eggs in incubator  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/

I’ve borrowed an incubator and put in about a dozen eggs from my chickens.  I had waited for one of my hens to go broody so I could put eggs under her but gave up and started these.  These should hatch out next weekend.  Also, a lady gave me some Cuckoo Maran eggs the week after I started these, so (fingers crossed) they will hatch out as well.  Hopefully, the different type of heat will work better.

And, of course, after these had been in the incubator about a week, Peaches decided to go broody.

broody hen (picture is sideways not the hen, lol)  https://theblondegardener.com/2015/05/03/chicken-madness/So I made her a little en suite in the corner of the coop and she is sitting on 12 eggs.  Her hatch date is around the 25th of May.

If all of these hatch, I will be having chickens the whole month of May!  Oh, and I also ordered another 50 broiler chicks that will be here during all this chaos.

I must be mad.

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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26 Responses to I Don’t Even Know Where To Start

  1. Buffy says:

    Chicken Math! You have to love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOl, that’s a lot of chicks and chick related projects! We have far fewer chicks than you (I haven’t really blogged about them this year because there’s a lot of chicken related controversy here in Salem and I need to fly under the radar screen) but we just use a shop light with a high watt bulb in it. Ours are pretty well feathered already so it’s almost time to remove the light. I think you’ll get everything done, and your chaos sounds really happy 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not really sure my rooster is good. My neighbor tried to hatch out some of my eggs about 6 months ago and none hatched out. So this is also an experiment. If I don’t get any chicks from the incubator or Peaches, he’s history.


  3. I have 7 chicks and 3 turkey poults. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with your numbers. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dawn says:

    Brenda, you have been busy…and even busier days are coming! Soon there will be little peeps everywhere!! Hope things are going well with your bees this spring. You are one busy gardener! Enjoy! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tammy says:

    Enjoyed your post! You are getting it done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We always used a thermometer. We thought we were supposed to lower the heat every week. Who knows!
    Love that you found time to post! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bill says:

    Well we’re mad right there with you. We ended up adding twice as many chicks as planned, and we have a broody hen set to hatch eggs in two days.

    I’m sorry for the chicks you lost. Happens to us for no discernible reason as well. We didn’t lose any in the brooder but 3 have died since moving them to the coop. I think two of them smothered, because of the stupid things chickens sometimes do.


    • Makes me feel better there are other people in the same boat as me. I figure it’s all part of the learning game but I do take it personal when they die. My chicks should start hatching around Friday.


  9. I’ve read that heat lamps with teflon will kill chickens.


  10. Quite a bit work and care for chicks! It is easier hen can do the work. Most of people here in the city if they have chicken will be just hens for eggs. Otherwise neighbours will complain about the noise. 🙂


  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh no, you’re supposed to cook the chickens once they’re larger. 🙂 Hope your new brooder and light set up solves the problem!


  12. Franceska says:

    Do you still need a light in there in addition to the ecoglow heater? My husband is worried about the heat lamp as well, being to hot and melting the plastic tote ii have set as the brooder.
    thanks for this post!!


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