Friday, April 26, 2013

Non-compliant chicken video

This was intended to show the chickens playing keepaway with some chunks of strawberries (yes, they are spoiled...AND?), which is hilarious and adorable, but they are non-compliant little party poopers.

Instead, let's take a look at the set up they are in right now:

It's a wooden frame that is 6 x 8 with 3/4 inch PVC pipes over it and plastic garden fencing (I think) with roughly 1 inch spacing over that, zip tied together. Yes, I rigged it with stuff I had laying around.

This set up is movable, basically I pick up one end and slowly drag it along while the chickens complain loudly and fight me the whole way. It's an intermediary step, they are in the garage until the weather is warm enough for them to go out into their permanent pen.

They don't have a water dish because I am lazy and changing out their water because they pooped in it got really old, really fast. Soooo they are on chicken nipples. (I'll put together a post with linkies to all the places I buy this stuff soon, I have to remember where I got them) The bottle with the blue cap, hanging there is how they drink, there is a gravity controlled watering nipple (really, there is no better way to describe it) in there. It's a sparkling water bottle (I'm spoiled, too...AND?) that I am suspending in one of the legs of a pair of nylons that has gotten a run in it.

Those things are incredibly useful, btw, I NEVER, EVER, EVER throw them out until they have served some other purpose, but I digress.

The metal round thingy is a 30 lb suspend-able feeder, so I don't have to run out there and feed them every day. I did mention I am lazy, right? Also, we sort of want to be able to go away for the weekend every now and then and not have to have someone to watch the clan, so being able to hook the feather beasts up for a few days is actually kind of high on the priority list.

They have a few sticks to climb on, because, well, spoiled and there is the sleeping area that is still getting the heatlamp treatment at night, with a few bottles suspended for that little midnight sip.

I do occasionally give them about a tablespoon of sugar in one of the bottles (2 liter), because I'm just not worried about their baby teeth, we'll deal with that when we have their wisdom teeth removed...OK, really it's because it gives them a bit of energy boost and they are growing so fast that a bit of extra caloric intake is quite welcome.

They are on 24% protein feed for probably another week or two, at which point they will go to 20% protein feed until they start laying, and then layer feed and free access to a calcium supplement. Today was the first day we offered them kitchen scraps (you didn't think I bought them strawberries, did you?), so I am now offering them chick grit, to help them digest their food.

That's what I got for todays episode of adventures in chicken raising. Stay tuned for the next episode on how we will be paying for their college ;)

Happy Pinching

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