Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Chickens

New chicks in the Tractor Supply Box

Well Spring is in the air and 3 weeks ago we stopped by Tractor Supply to pick up a few needed items for current projects and to check on the parking lot vendors they have come in with their animals for sale.  We've been talking about getting chickens for some time and wound up buying our first set of chicks, 11 in all this trip.

Girls helping to set up the tank /starter home for the chicks

Sooo cute!!

Hannah with a chick

Lauren holding one of the cochin chicks

We set up their preliminary home using one of our tubs we purchased for use when we set up our aquaponics system, and it was a perfect starter spot for this group.  The people we bought them from call their business Chicken Pimpin. They have a mix of young chicks and this trip was primarily olive eggers, cochins and ameraucanas.

The following weekend we went back and bought all the chicks they had.  We now had a total of 28 chicks with most being only a few days old.  This second group had polish chicks, german spitzhaueben, ameraucanas, and blue laced red wingdottes. In the coming week we lost the smallest one of them, but have managed to keep the others going strong.

Our second group of chicks is a real mixed one.

The kids setting up the second tank

German Spitzhauben Chick with it's little Mohawk Feathers

One of the Polish Chicks - cute

We built a temporary shelter outdoors by the house, as we were delayed with the work on our main hoop house coop because we had to have emergency surgery on Bea our basset hound whose battle with glaucoma has been going on for a couple years now.  Despite all the measures we'd taken and procedures trying to save sight and eyes, she lost her sight a month ago and we couldn't get the pressure, which had become extremely high, down.  So our only option left was removal of both her eyes.  This was a very sad day for us and not an easy one for Bea.  She's been making a lot of progress in the week since her surgery and is clearly feeling much better now that she's healing and doesn't have the intense pain of her glaucoma. Our time and efforts with her have been worthwhile, but it necessitated the temporary cage to move the now growing chicks out of their tank lodgings.

Bea before surgery, eyes enlarged and hurting with the high pressure she was experiencing

Bea just after we returned home from the vets.

We have the first and largest 11 chicks outside and the remaining 26 in two large tanks in the garage. This weekend will be a busy one working on the hoop house coop and preparing it for the home of this interesting flock of chickens.

The girls helping Kevin with the first section of the hoop house

This is as far as we've got.  We have a shed coop to add to this closer end, walls, doors, strengthen the sides and add the hard wire for predator protection.

Kevin working on the temporary coop salvaged from a coop a woman who was taking down.

Chickens checking out their new lodgings. The cochin are so funny with their feathery legs, especially when they're running

Getting bigger, this olive egger is checking out the new environment

That's it for now.  Will update again soon, as we make progress with the chickens and the many other activities we have going on around the property.