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