Friday, April 18, 2014
They are feathering out very well. They were getting too big for the 30-gallon tub. We went to our Co-Op and picked up a child's swimming pool. Himself drilled holes around the lip and we attached 2' tall chick wire around. I had some heavy-plastic with a "lace" pattern that was semi-clear. I clipped that around the wire on the outside leaving a 3' gap. I was out of the plastic and they could see out into our living room, something they seem to enjoy. I grew a brain cell. The dust was horrendous. I cleaned the craft room well. I then hung sheets all dividing most of the room from their "brooder". I covered everything I could. I have an old clear plastic shower curtain hanging in the doorway on a short shower curtain rod. It contains the dust and we can see into the room. Their little perch Himself made for them is almost too small now. At least 3 of them use it now. It also gives them the height to see out clearly.
A win-win on the sheet and plastic additions. Dust kept down to a minimum and the chicks are entertained. Any noises, they all pop up their heads, looking through one eye. It is creepy, like we have a bunch of mini-raptors from the Jurassic Park movie. (laughing)
Miss Sally goes to the curtain and pokes her head through, standing there. she is not getting too close. Good. I am sure they will peck her nose, looking for a treat of some kind. She murbles at them. She is not sure of them, but quite sure anything that takes a second away from her is Not A Good Thing. I am happy with how she is handling the chicks, though. She could of tried to eat them, bark whenever they moved and other irritating behaviors. She is a good girl. I keep telling her she gets the eggs, too. Sally loves eggs.
The chicks love dried mealworms. They tasted chopped raisins. They were not impressed. They also think chopped grapes are just okay. They go for my hands when I am messing with their stuff, looking for food.
I have a mix of pine shavings and peat moss. The combo stays dry and odor-free. I give it a stir every day. The chicks trample it down in minutes. Once a week, I add a thin layer of pine shavings and peat moss, stir. The chicks chase around the giant stainless-steel spoon from my soap-making supplies that I use to stir around their litter. Some have to be gently coaxed to get out of the way.
Their light is keeping the warmest part about 80 degrees F now. I am raising the light an inch a day. The house is about 68 degrees F. In another week or two, I can remove the heat-lamp. I hope I can figure out a way to take them out to play on warm days. When we get the coop made, it would be a good place for them in the run under the coop. May they will herd into the old dog carrier to go outside? Nights are still too cold and will probably be too cool for a while. IF I can safely add a heat lamp for night-only, I may do that.
Chickens, chickens, chickens. Boring, huh? This is new for me. Raising parakeets and a cockatiel is my only experience with birds. Fowl is a bit different. I'll get it.
I am finally finishing my grand-daughter's rug. She already moved out of her parents house. If you try to make an I-cord rug, do not sew into shape as you go. It still tends to curl. Laying it flat on the ground or a flat surface that is large enough is the best way to go. I wasted more time taking it apart than making it. sometimes, what seems to save time does the exact opposite.
Our garden beds are wrapped like giant burritos, warming the soil. I will be planting soon. I am looking forward to our first salad from the garden. Yum!