As you can imagine it has been quite the excited week around here as our first little feathered gals arrived Sunday. It started a bit hectic as with most adoptions. Being the anticipation of the new chicks arrival has steadily been climbing since the completion of the coop a month ago, you would think their brooder (aka:chick nursery) would be sitting on ready to go as well, right? And to think, I thought I was so ready, only to be so not ready. After months of reading and asking many questions about raising healthy chicks naturally to other chicken lovers, Hubs found four of my five desired breeds readily available for adoption at a poultry farm in Smith County, Tennessee. Yay! My two dear gal pals, Hubs, and I threw a cardboard box with pine shavings in the back of my jeep and we quickly made a run to pick the chicks. (Sorry, this picture of our ride to the farm is dark. You know how it goes, taking pics in a car. Oh well.) I followed Lisa Steele's (Fresh Eggs Daily) version of a plastic tote breeder. If you are considering raising baby chicks and need a brooder, I would highly recommend Lisa's version. However, do not do like I did and not have it ready in advance. Once the chicks arrive you will feel a bit overwhelmed and not having the brooder ready will be your first mistake. I knew exactly what I needed for my brooder, and even had some of it on hand already, but not all of it.
After arriving home, the chicks stayed in their tiny cardboard nursery awaiting their brooder as I frantically toured the dreaded big box store for the last minute brooder needs. This is a lesson on what not to do, when getting chicks. Completely prepare your brooder early! Have I said that yet? ha ha Despite the move in day chaos and my first day stumble, the four babies finally have a brooder that they seem to be enjoying. Minus the fact that I still have not cut the plastic box lid like Lisa did, I used a flattened card board box. All is well that ends well, right? Here's a picture of my office where the plastic tote brooder and babies are living for now. Maybe I will just keep the cardboard top instead of cutting the plastic one. It seems to be working fine for now.
My babies are only three weeks old now, and boy, are they ever growing! I think I am going to have to take Lisa Steele up on that dual brooder idea she talks about in her book, "Fresh Eggs Daily"! These girls are going to need a duplex soon!
Happy Hen Keeping, Y'all!
"LIVE SELF SUFFICIENTLY, LOVE OTHERS PURPOSEFULLY, CARE DEEPLY FOR MOTHER EARTH AND HER CREATOR."