Chick Pickup Secrets

First you need a pad to take them back to.  This one is raised up for better chick viewing and consists of pieces of 18" high clear greenhouse plastic that was riveted together to form a circle.  It goes right to the bottom of the tire and is screwed into the tire at the top.  The whole thing sits on a piece of plywood laid on top of some pallets.  There's an electric blanket underneath to keep the footsies warm.  Plastic on that, then newspaper, paper towels and a couple of inches of chopped straw.

Secondly you got to find some chicks.  Who would have thought they come in the mail.  These are Rhode Island Reds, a dual purpose variety.

We dipped their beaks in the water, which was laden with sugar to give them a lift.  They started drinking right away - and even figured out how to use the feeder.  The sugar water made for some weird looking straw camouflaged chicks. Some gentle picking and they all are pretty fine now, and on regular water. 

Next you gotta introduce them to the rest of the members of the family:

'Cuz you know they are going to be curious:

The trick is to keep them warm.  Very warm.  It was so cold yesterday I had to use two 250 watt infrared lamps and light a fire to get them to 32C.  Once they warmed up we just left one lamp on and they seemed to be fine.  No huddling under the light and no hanging around the edges.  Chicks gone wild!

Next project is to prepare for four weaner pigs we're picking up Saturday.  Make a feed trough, clean out the pen.  Get some starter rations.  Also building a large movable Chicken Tractor.  Oh, and putting the garden  in.  Busy week.


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