Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Movin' On Up...Bigger and Better

Well, due to the uncharacteristic cold spell we are enduring, The Tomatoes that should be tucked into the soil, are still hanging out in the den.  The cool weather crops, planted late last week, are slow to show, with only lettuce sprouting above the soil surface, oh and one or two pea plants poking up.  So, this post will be devoted to the girls.

Quite frankly, the brooder box was so small the hens had to get out just to change their mind...bah dum dum.  Sorry, couldn't help myself.  Last week, my brother and I went to Costco and grabbed two of their big produce boxes, mine held Watermelons:

Well, this certainly gives the girls room to spread their wings.  I put a dollar store (yes, I shop their often, and usually find something I can use for the homestead) shower curtain down below the box, and cut another piece of cardboard out in the shape of the box to cover the hole in the bottom.  Then I put about 2 inches of pine shavings down.  I cut some hardware cloth to cover the top, and hung the 250 watt infrared lamp from the ceiling.  The temp under the lamp is 70 degrees, and the temp in the garage where the box sits is 55 at night and 62 during the day.  So the girls can hang under the lamp to warm up, and move around and become acclimatized for when they go outside full time.  I then moved the waterer, feeder and roost (after thoroughly cleaning all) into the big box.  All that was left was to put the girls in.

Let me tell you, they spent the first 20 minutes in their new digs, stretching their wings, and running around like 3rd graders on a Sunny Friday after a full bag o' skittles.  They also found lots of fun in knocking over their food tray.  I had it propped up on a 2x4 cut to the length of the feeder.  So I took some scrap wood, and made bumpers, to keep the feeder in place.  Now it does just that.  Try as they might, it won't tip over.  So they eat from the feeder now.  Though they still hunt, peck, and scratch.  I spread some chick grit around for them.  It keeps them busy.

Man that box is big.  It sits in the garage, which is my shop.  The counter in the back, is next to an old stove (left over from our remodel a few years back) are part of my candle making setup.  Notice I didn't say money making, but someday.  But not until the chicks are ready to move out into the big wild yonder.  Before that though, my brother and I need to build our coops.  Perhaps Thursday or Friday we can start.  Weather man says those will be the best days of the week.  Keeping my fingers crossed.


  1. One great set-up man, so glad we grabbed those boxes. Wish mine were as tall as yours, but I figure they need to get used to the low setup for the coop mini-run.

    The beauty of these new digs is that 4 birds can hang out there as long as needed before the coops are ready, but I've put a call into James to hopefully help, even though he's got puppies to care for.

    Mine should look similar to yours, but I likely will use my smallest tarp to put under it. Oh, and you've GOT to take me shopping with you next time you go to the dollar store, I never find anything useful there. You're so creative!

  2. The girls look happy in their new home. Boy they grow really fast.