Saturday, March 31, 2007

chicken tractor

The framework for the tractor is done. I've done it all myself, which is amazing. I do need to brace the 4 corners of the frame so it is more stable and won't torque apart when I move it. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the nest box in there and cover it with chicken wire. I spent 160 on materials but I didn tuse al of them. doubling the PVC pipes made the ribs about 9 ft tall, way too tall for the yard and the galvanized nails I just didn't need and I think I bought way too much chicken wire, but that will always come in handy.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The chickens are getting bigger so quickly I can't believe my eyes! I really have to get a coop ready this weekend. I've had to get a bigger rubbermaid bin to put them in and I still think it is too small. I've come home from work for 2 days now and found a chick with a bloody butt. I made an isolation pen out of the green bin for the 2 injured birds and bought some blue lotion and this hot pick spray that tastes like cayenne to try to keep the picking at bay. I think that they are too crowed. But they are still too young to go outside full time. What to do?
The sick chick is still hanging on, in fact she looks pretty good. SHe is substantially smaller that the other chicks and still had the lump in/on her neck. I'm thinking it is a deformity rahter than an illness. She is still in the house in a box right next to the computer. The others are out in the garage. I wish they were still in the house so I could keep an eye on them but they were kicking up so much dust that they had to go out of the house.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Impacted crop

I think we are going to lose Spencer's favorite chick, Miss Bracocin. I think she has an impacted crop. She can't stand, has a hard lump in her throat and just lays on her side panting. Spencer is so sad. But this is a life lesson, everything that lives must die. It's just so hard to watch this chick suffer. I can't euthanize her. I'm a bit surprised at myself. I guess I want to give her every chance to make it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

chicken antics

I got the chicks a perch and put a kitty ball on a string and hung it for them to peck at. They LOVE the ball, pecking and pulling at the string. It's pretty funny. A few of them are using the perch as well although they fall off a lot.
I put them on pine bedding yesterday and they love to scratch at it and kick it everywhere. This is so fun. I just hope I can get a coop made in the next few weeks.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

day 6 Chicken update

I moved the chicks to a larger rubbermaid bin and put them on pine shavings instead of the shop towels. They are picking at the shavings and scratching them everywhere. I guess that is to be expected since this is new for them. I hope they eat their food and don't get plugged up from the bark.

Friday, March 16, 2007


The chicks are getting feathers already! It's only been 5 days! I think I am going to need a bigger brooder and soon. I hate to put them out in the garage as I want them to bond with us but I think they are going to be too big to keep in here in about 3 weeks. I really like holding them and so does Spencer. She is really good with the babies. I've got about 4 weeks to get a coop design down and built so I really better shake a leg. It is so hard to decide. With my very limited carpentry skills I don't have many options. I'd like a nice looking coop that doesn't scream hillbilly since this is Dallas, but I only have hillbilly skills and pathetic ones at that. Frankly, I'm an insult to hillbillies. It is going to be hard to choose which ones to keep and which ones to cull. Spencer has already named one Madison, one Spencer, one Meg and one Miss Bercoccin. I may have bitten off more than I can chew here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Can't take my Eyes off of you"

I just can't stop looking at the little fuzzballs. They are getting real feathers on their wings and are pooping up a storm. I have to change their paper 2X a day. I am so in love. I just have to figure out how to get a coop made in the next 8 weeks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicken Mama

Yep, I'm a chicken mama. I drove the 156 miles to Ideal Poultry in Cameron Tx and picked up 10 adorable Delaware chicks. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. The peeps are so cute and tiny. Picking one up is incredible, so tiny yet strong. Gaze upon them and awwwww. Now I am forced to get the coop built in the next 8 weeks. I can't keep all 10 so I think 6 are destined for the freezer if I can find some one to butcher them as it is illegal to do so in the city. I'd do it if I could but I don't want to antagonize the neighbors.
My brooder is a storage box with newspaper and shop towels on the bottom, a reflector clamp lamp with a 100 watt lizard warming light and the waterer & feeder. I have a larger storage box to move them to as they get bigger. I just have to make a lid for it.
I made soap last week as well. I really am feeling better these days.