30 November 2014

Pullets out in the chick tractor

Now the rest of the chicks are OUT of the shed!  This means I can start airing the shed out for a few weeks or so .... someone described chicks as "too stinkin' cute" and the emphasis is certainly on the word "stinkin'."  I'll let hubby write up the stats/specs on our chick tractor, if he's so inclined.
the pullets discovering grass

pullets still mobbing the feeder

door in chick tractor for waterer

shelter and roost end of chick tractor
It may look like a bit of (*ahem*) rural engineering, but it will do exactly what we need it to do: hold the chicks safely while being lightweight enough to move every evening, and by only one person if necessary.

If all 17 of these chicks really are pullets, then I will consider myself very lucky!  I had ordered 25 assorted straight run.

23 November 2014

Moving chicks outside

Been a bit busy, but here are a few pics in between rain events.  (Hopefully, no new trees will come down this week! That needs its own post though.)  I have moved the eight Nuggets (Cornish/Rock crosses) out into the chicken hutch, and while they haven't figured out the idea of going *up* into the hutch part, they are enjoying hopping around on the grass.
the nuggets enjoying the great outdoors
I moved these eight yesterday, and this morning I selected the eight biggest and most boisterous cockerels out of the assortment to move out into the old bantie-house.  Four have so far figured out the ramp, while the other four were happy to snuggle down into the pine shavings for some peaceful rest.
four of the cockerels moved out of the shed

three of the four really adventurous cockerels ....
there were four in the frame when I focused the camera!
Finally, hubby has been working on building a chick tractor to bring the rest outside.  It is light enough for me to move, with roosts for the chicks which will be under a roof with hardware cloth as a "floor" of sorts.
chick tractor in progress
When hubby finishes it up, the chicks will be able to scratch and hop around the yard inside it, safe from bald eagles, hawks, owls, and other assorted wildlife that appreciates a chicken dinner as much as we do.

21 November 2014

Chicks at three weeks

Weekly pictures of my quick-growing chicks, taken yesterday afternoon only a couple hours after I changed the shavings out ... seriously, chickens are NOT known for being clean or tidy.
the 8 nuggets, who are hopping out of the tub regularly but always come running for food

25 assorted chicks, starting to truly feather out now

another pic of the 25 assorteds

close-up of "Beardie" the bearded/muffed pullet who may be a Spangled Russian Orloff chick
Just for the record, persuading 25 active, lively, and at times rowdy chicks to hold still for pictures is definitely not one of my talents.

13 November 2014

Quick-growing chicks

Yesterday we had to buy a new brooder tub, as we had escapees from the 50 gallon stock tank.  The next size up that I could find was a 110g tank at Tractor Supply, so we now have chicks in both:
8 Cornish-Rock "nuggets" in the 50g

close-up of still unknown chicks showing pretty colors

And some more cute chicks with pretty feathers coming in

25 "assorted" chicks in the 110g tank

The 110g tank next to the 50g tank they were escaping from

07 November 2014

Homemade bread and English muffins

WARNING: Do not look on an empty stomach!
Fresh bread just out of the oven today, trying a new recipe:
homemade sandwich bread fresh from the oven
Now, for a little catch-up from earlier this week, when I made my usual loaf of wheat bread and hubby made from-scratch English muffins for the first time:
homemade bread and English muffins cooling
Homemade from-scratch English muffin
 If you ask me, I will say the homemade English muffins taste light-years better than the store-bought ones ... I have never been a huge fan of English muffins, having only had the store version before this.  The fun part is that they "bake" on the stove, in a cast iron skillet.

Both the new bread recipe and the English muffin recipe come from a special issue from Hobby Farm magazine, simply called "Homemade Breads" that I found on the magazine rack in Tractor Supply recently.  I already consider it money well spent, and there are more recipes we want to try like apple-stuffed fry bread, skillet cornbread with cheese, and an Indian flatbread called naan.  The added bonus of baking our own bread is when hubby walks into the house after being outside or in his workshop and exclaims, "Yum!  It smells wonderful in here!"

06 November 2014

More chicks pics

Just because they are still very much in the cute phase, and because I changed out the pine shavings.
33 week-old chicks

close up of some of the week old chicks
We sent our neighbor her 25 chicks ... although we may have miscounted and sent over 27 instead.  No big deal, as the hatchery sent 7 extras, and we have only lost two chicks, so that is 33 week-old chicks in the brooder tank.  They are still growing like weeds, which has a down side in that they are still doing their run-flap-jump routine on each other, which is how we lost the second one yesterday, to general young chick rambunctiousness.

Hubby will be building a chicken tractor so we can start scooting them around the yard to eat grass and bugs once they get enough feathers grown in.