Friday, February 8, 2013

Chickens and Coops

Well we had one chick die this morning. It was a runt and hadn't been doing well. Unfortunately, it was Catherine's.

I wasn't going to say anything to her but I realized we're farm girls now and have to put our big girl panties on and face the death of a farm animal

Catherine cried a little bit. But I explained that we talked about how small it was and that sometimes it's better that an animal who is sickly or not doing well die rather can continue to live a not-so-good life. She understood...and then picked out another chick which we dotted with a brown spot on its head.

It might be the first death but it won't be the last.

RIP Chicketti.

The remaining 30 chicks are doing very well. The whole "pasty-butt" thing is an on-going hygiene issue. Anyone who's got dried matter on its backside is picked up and sponged off.

There's lots of hand washing going on here.

The kids love picking up the chicks and talking to them. The rule is to wash hands before and after. We don't want to give the chicks any funky germs and vice versa. I do want the kids to be comfortable with handling the chickens at the various stages of their development and I want the chickens to get acclimated to being handled.

I've drawn up plans for the chicken coop. I think it's going to turn out well. It's basically a box with a pent roof so I don't have to deal with gables and too many wood cuts. I've got a door on site that I can reuse as well as a few windows to let in light. We'll add some vents up near the roof line to help with circulation. The coop will be situation on cinder blocks up off the ground and I'll probably have to shore up the underside with some 1/2 x 1/2 inch hardware cloth to keep out all sizes of predators.

I've decided that the coop will be situated near the garden so that the chickens can help with bug control. I realize that there are some sections of the garden that I'll have to protect with chicken wire or other boundaries to keep the chickens from eating the vegetables or ruining the beds, but they will certainly enjoy scratching in the paths between the raised garden beds.


No comments:

Post a Comment