Monday, April 29, 2013

The Stinky Brooder - Tips to keep the brooder clean and fresh

So, you've got chicks.  Fantastic!  You have started your foray into keeping chickens.  You are at the onset of an amazing journey. I imagine you have a great brooder set up for your babies. Food, water and grit all taken care of and in place. The brooder lamp hanging above the fluff balls keeping them warm and cozy.  Everything in the brooder is wonderful and picturesque, just as your imagined. Everyone in the family is in love with the cute little peepers. It's all quite darling.

Rhode Island Red pullet chick

Enter week two. Starting to get smelly yet? Not yet? It will, very soon. Yeah, not so darling now.

Chicks grow amazingly fast during the brooding stage. They loose almost all of their baby fluff and grow their first set of feathers in three weeks. They eat a lot and poop even more, or so it seems. Lots of poo gets real smelly, real fast. Stay on top of the stink with these brooder tips.

1.  Stir frequently.  I always use pine shavings in the brooder. Pine shavings smell piney fresh and are easy to fluff. Stir at least once a day, twice a day during the third week of brooding.
2. Remove caked bedding.  Rather than stir in caked droppings that have accumulated overnight, scoop out the obvious manure and stir the rest of the bedding.
3. Freshen by adding new bedding.  A handful or two of fresh bedding daily helps keep brooder smelling fresh and clean.
4. Remove wet bedding at once.  Water spills happen. Remove the wet bedding and replace with fresh.
5. Keep feeders at chest level. Chicks can easy dump their feed onto the brooder floor. Nothing smells worse that wet, soiled soybean meal! Real n-a-s-t-y!
6. Move chicks to coop when they are four weeks old. The chicks begin to use their feathers immediately after they grow in. They are ready to explore a bigger environment at this age. You can use a heat lamp in their coop for a few days to ease transition of the move.

By keeping your brooder fresh and clean, the experience of chick rearing is more enjoyable. Have fun with your little peepers.  They grow and feather out so fast! 

Class Reminder

Chicken Boot Camp, Week 2 is tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 30th. Class starts at 6;30.  We will talk about rearing, health and bio-security, predation and chores.

Upcoming Butchering Class
There has been quite a bit of interest in a class on chicken butchering.  Shawn at City Folks Farm Shop is now scheduling a butchering class for August or Sept. This will be a hands-on class in which you will each receive a live chicken, butcher it, clean and dress your chicken and take it home. Cost will be around $30.  i will let you know exact dates.  You can sign up with Shawn at City Folks Farm Shop.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homing Pigeons too

This is my second post!  Yea me!
I want to raise homing pigeons too.

Go me!

My First Post

This is my first post!

I'm Denise and I love animals, primarily farm animals.  I believe that everyone on the homestead needs a job, animals too!  I once had thousands of chickens.  Now I live in the city and am preparing to keep my first urban chickens.