Our new little Chickie! I actually have zero clue what sex or breed this is!! Guess we will be surprised! This little one has the CUTEST feathered feet!
Having quite a few babies, we had to split them up into several little homes. I used plastic tubs and lined cardboard boxes, knowing we would be building a brooder box!
Willow ...being curious... or helpful??? Makes it a little difficult to get things done!
Since the Cowboy's accident, we have all had to learn to pitch in and try new things. The girls really wanted to have a hand in this project. Their older brothers cut the boards and got everything ready for them to assemble. Under dad's watchful eye the girls begin assembling the brooder box.
Flower is a naughty little goat... yes, we could have locked her in the pen, but it is fun having her around even as precocious as she is.
Though we could be incredibly frustrated with our "main carpenter man" being unable to function as he used to, I am so proud to say my family has adjusted. He gives pointers and we learn new skills.
Precocious and beautiful...our Flower.
Piece by piece it is coming together!
Seth believes curiosity killed the goat... not the cat. She loves being snuggled!
Once the majority of the Brooder is assembled, we moved it to it's permanent home in a protected area.
It is important to have clean pine shavings (NOT CEDAR) in your chicks brooder.
...and a heat lamp set about 19 inches from the floor. It is important to keep the brooder at the correct temperature!
We have surrounded our brooder with straw, and placed it next to the goat pen in order to reduce drafts. We have a cover which is securely placed at night to keep any critters from crawling in with our babies.
Happy babies introduced to their new home. I did have to create a rounded corner with another piece of wood as they seem to want to cram into a corner!
If you look closely, you can see we keep a thermometer so we can check the temperature of the brooder area! My chickies love to climb up on the wooden blocks, flap their mini wings and pretend to fly. It is important that your chicks be provided with activities to keep them from becoming bored!
Fresh water is a must. I recommend using these types of waters to prevent your chicks from drowning ..they cannot swim and open containers are not a wise choice.
All snuggled in for the night. I am happy to have them in their new home and thankful for my family pitching in to get things done here on our little homestead! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to help or find answers!
For those who have been following our escapades for a while, you will remember The Cowboy had a serious accident last summer. With chronic pain, chronic headaches, and sleep apnea as a result of said accident, he has a lot of time to think and ponder. In some ways this is good. He listened and watched some You Tube videos on feeding animals and really liked the idea of feeding ours fodder. Yes, it creates a little more work for us, but the health benefits for the animals and reduced costs for us make it well worth it! If you have not researched Fodder...then I URGE you to do so! You will be pleasantly surprised!
Since his accident, the cowboy MUST have help building anything. This is quite a change for him. I am thankful...every day for our sons...without them we would really struggle with simple tasks! Kris is building the fodder stand, which will fit into our "extra" shower. We don't bathe in there as the hot water has NEVER worked right. So, it makes a safe and clean place to grow something!
Bags of whole barley were bought. First step is to rinse it and then soak 6 cups covered in clean, fresh water.
A lot of sites will tell you to add bleach to your soaking water. We have chosen to use a small of amount of food grade hydrogen peroxide instead. Do your research and decide what works best for your situation.
Day one and the barley is beginning to sprout. It is so exciting see things growing! We spread the soaked and drained barley into seed flats we bought at a local green house. We just couldn't afford the expensive trays sold online!
It is necessary to water several times a day. We chose to attach ours to an automatic waterer with a timer! Drainage, temperature, and humidity are all factors in growing good fodder. There is a plethora of information out there on the web!
Our First healthy fodder tray! We realized we put too much barley in ...we have since corrected this issue and it grows in much thicker!
Choosing to feed LIVE food all year round benefits our animals and our pocket book! The animals utilize 80% of the live food over 30% of dry food... you do the math!! You feed less!!
Artificial lights on a stand in front of the growing space makes this a compact and easy setup! Your plants can be grown anywhere this way!
A healthy root system! No mold or extra un sprouted seed...this is what you are looking for!
This was a first attempt...you can see the un-sprouted seeds... we placed the layer of barley too thick which inhibited growth!
The goats love it soooo much, as do the chickens! Flower is always into everyone else's business even though she has food of her own!
Our young pullets just did not get what the fresh stuff was all about and just sort of stared at it like it was some fantastical art piece!
So, our older gal came over to teach them what it was all about.
Worried they were missing out, the young pullets finally had their first taste!
With a little help from "Miss Willow"... busted!
"Seriously? Must you post pictures of me with my mouth full of food?"
Even the new piggies are thrilled with the fresh new items on the menu!
The grass really is greener on the other side of the goat pen!
Ha!!! Queen of the Fodder Pile!
Feeding fresh food means a healthier life for our girls! I could not ask for anything better! I know we will see a difference in our eggs! (No, they won't be green!)
Nothing more wonderful than back yard chicken farming!