Monday, March 28, 2011
The great chicken adventure!
Box crate on pallet (sorry for the dark photos!)
So it's almost baby chick day! We're getting ready for 175 new chicks that are supposed to arrive in 2 days. It's important to have their place prepared before their arrival because we're getting newly hatched chicks that are just 1 day old. They need to be kept at 95 degrees and can get sick very easily. I was so lucky to score some large box crates at the local feed store! (Erways is great if you're in the area to stop in!) So I've set up 2 of them. They're pretty simple really just a wood pallet on the floor, then a large plastic trash bag (in case there are any leaky water spills), and the box crate on top.
Then a couple layers of cardboard inside the crate.
Some of my kids hopped in to test it out!
Then a couple inches of bedding inside it. We're using straw because it's what we have handy. The kids will have fun shredding paper towels to mix in with it. And after the straw is nice and dry (it was frozen out at the coop) we'll put a layer of window screen over it for the first few days so the chicks don't try to eat the bedding before learning where the food is. You can see we've put duct tape securely over those shipping handles to make sure no chicks wander out or a get a draft. We'll remove that and replace it with screens when they've settled in. Those handle holes will serve a purpose later!
We do free-range our chickens but baby chicks need a good healthy start. So they start out eating medicated chick feed to keep them healthy for the first couple weeks. After they have some feathers we'll switch them to a small ration of natural pellets each day and all the fresh foraging they can find.
Thanks for following our adventures and stay tuned for tomorrow's update after we've finished preparing the Chick Mansion! God Bless!