One thing that has been consistent since beginning this journey is the application of Plan B: “Well, that didn’t work. Next?”
The priority project of this weekend was to revise the brooder. Yes, the brooder box we just put the chicks in last weekend.
When we originally built the brooder, we put the door on one end. The day after putting them in it, while doing our daily handling of the chicks, we realized the placement of the entry was problematic.
First, my knees don’t squat that low anymore. Well, I can get down, but someone has to be there to restore me to an upright position. That is actually a multi-step process that requires me rolling around on the ground until I can get on all fours, and then kneel on one knee, and then get pulled up. It’s not the least bit dignified. Sitting on a footstool wasn’t a solution; I still needed someone to pull me up.
The second problem we discovered was, when we appear at the door of the brooder, the chicks run to the other end of the box – 4 feet away. Oscar had to climb into the box to retrieve the more stubborn of the chicks. Then he had to wiggle himself back out of the box: not an easy feat for a 6-foot person. After that experience, he wasn’t laughing at me anymore.
So, except for that day of discovery, the chicks did not get handled all week. I want the chicks to be well socialized to us so they need to be handled daily. The entry had to be changed.
Our Plan B was to build a top lid. We removed the chicks from the brooder. Yes, Oscar had to climb in again to accomplish it. While we were working, the chicks sat in the lime green bucket I use for mixing soil.
Chicks in a bucket
We built and attached the new brooder lid, cleaned out the brooder box, put DE under the brooder, and put fresh bedding in it. Then the chicks went back in. Now we have it set up so I can take care of the chicks myself if necessary.
The chicks are three weeks old. They have begun feathering out and changing colors, making identification even harder. Here are their three-week-old pictures:
Chrissy – see how her beak is misaligned?
Chipmunk – I love her speckles and eyeliner!
(HIDK = heck, I don’t know)
Until next week … 😉