We placed our first, relatively large order, for day old chicks last week. 170 will be coming our way on Jan. 29th. We ordered a diverse flock to start, with several old heritage breeds that are good foragers and layers along with some high production layers. (A big thank you to Peach at Randell Burkey. She worked with us, knowing we are a start-up non-profit farm, and gave us some crucial discounts to help make the purchase possible.)
With all that said we spent all of yesterday getting ready for and setting up the brooder pen. Probably could have finished the whole thing, but I was in bed nearly all weekend only feeling better on Monday. Thank God for a great wife and long weekend! It also helps to have a great mother and father in-law helping us out. We will still need to work on it this coming weekend, adding a door and putting down a protective liner on the floor, but at least we have the structure.
After completion of the brooder pen, we will then turn our attention to gutting out an old Air Stream that "came" with our property. We debated for several years about refurbishing it but when a cotton trailer slipped through our hands at the last minute, we thought this would be a good fit. Plus, nothing to buy and ship to the property, just some back breaking work ahead of us.
This will come just in time for the chickens to get on the property and start working on the grasshopper population. I figure 170 + chickens and ducks will do a number on them and also help get my ground good and fertile before we plant our spring crop. Plus, it is must see "TV".
If you have ever watched chickens chase bugs, you realize why they call them bird brains. They can't just chase a bug and eat it. They chase the bug, grab it with their beak and let all of the other chickens know it's in its mouth. That starts a chase of chickens across the yard, sometimes resulting in the first chicken, the one with the bug, losing it to another. It is some great family fun watching these chickens do their thing.
Picture Source: www.duckeggs.com
"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."