Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chickens IN

This is the glow of  heat lamp.  We are living with chickens in the house.  When I started incubating these eggs, I had planned on putting the chicks in the mud room for several weeks as in previous years.  But this is the winter from another planet, and even with heat, the mud room is too chilly.  It was zero again with a wind chill this morning.  It is March, not January!!!! Enough.  

So. . . Here you see my Marans in their comfy box brooder--right next to the door. I can hear them peep peeping all day.  It is quite nice, really.  They create some dust, but right now it is not much.  

Jello, the border collie, has decided they are her responsibility.   She checks them every time they get to pecking each other and squawking.   I'm seeing at least two that are looking roosterish already.   Sigh.  Jello runs and gets me to come see.  She takes the job very seriously, as only a border collie can.  The beagle doesn't even give them a glance.  And the cats are taking my warnings seriously.  (But you might be able to see the wire top secured to the top of the box--cat proofing)

Oh.  And I have a chicken in the cellar, too.  I had a Welsumer hen who just kind of gave up on this whole, cold winter thing and quit eating.  She was just bones. Dr. Roseanne took her to the clinic and put a feeding tube in her and now she has perked up.   She seems to be enjoying her cellar, dog crate, heat lamp holiday.  Do you remember the girls in the movie Chicken Run talking about going on "holiday?" And she loves her special meals.   But I am sick of cleaning her cage.  It will be a problem putting her back out with her sisters now.  They will peck her mercilessly.  Another problem. So for now, she is getting some much needed nutrition on her own. 

I am also having quite a time with the ice outside.  I postponed my first chicken class, because it is just too crazy slippery  getting to the coop.  I apologize to those who were interested.  But I have posted a new, hopefully warmer, date. (More on that later) And it has been too cold to give it any kind of cleaning.  Deep litter method going strong here.  And the hens are mostly staying in their coop.  Even when we open their door, they don't come out for long.  It Will end.  Right? And soon we will have spring peepers out there to welcome warmer days.  (for those "from away", spring peepers are frogs, not baby chickens.)
And I am going to bed to the sound of baby chicks out in the hall.  

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