chicken break

Farm & Garden

May 4, 2017

so yesterday was one of those days where nothing went as planned. i was about to leave for the gym when a coworker popped in and said aren’t you coming to the meeting this morning. trying to play it cool i was like you bet! texted nikki my trainer that i’m an idiot and i was in a two hour branding meeting. during such meeting i missed a call from the post office telling me that my spring chick order had come in. so cancelled my lunch plans flew home and picked up the chicks from the post office. flew back to work and then finished up the day here before heading to my ultrasound at night (more pictures of heart needed, no worries just weren’t clear enough the first time) by that time i was so exhausted that i didn’t have it in me to make dinner so joe and i went to tulip time and got the hot dog from the guy who makes the deep fried home made buns. after that i went home and did chores (bees, sheep, chicks and dogs) and called it a night while watching my tigers lose to the indians. so sorry i couldn’t squeeze in a post yesterday but sometimes it’s good to have a little break you know?

i’ve received a  lot of questions about chickens and getting them in the mail. this is my fourth order since moving to the farm. i’ve had 1 batch of layers, 1 order of meat birds, 1 order of guinea hens and this is my second round of layers. i’m going to be trying a different technique with these as i found after releasing my first round of layers they are much happier free ranging and lay eggs more frequently than when they were in a coop. i found that by keeping them the coop for a long time they still all head back in there at night and do not stray far during the day. plus they go through a lot less feed (and eat bugs and ticks) and keep cleaner (and keep the barn cleaner). i’ve ordered from a few different sites but the site i’ve had the most success at has been mcmurray hatchery.  you can get the chicks in as early as late february in michigan but i’ve had much greater success receiving them in late april/ may because of the temperatures. it’s a lot less work keeping them warm in may than in february. their success rate of surviving during shipping is greater in the warmth too. my first order i lost 10. this order i only lost 3. this year i ordered from the ornamental layer collection. which will give a nice variety of fancy chickens and eggs. the best part too is if you let mcmurray know how many didn’t make it they will typically reimburse you.

once you get that call from the post office it’s very important to pick them up as soon as possible. they are usually 24 hours old and need food and water asap. plus the chirping drives the workers..postal. i went and grabbed my box of chickens and quick headed home to set them up in their new box.

i have my fancy chicken coop that i use for a brooder box. all you need is a heat light (even though it’s may), feed trough and water. i also put down large shavings for bedding. the large shavings stay cleaner in baby chicken doo doo and you don’t have to worry about “pasty butt” as much. i’m not going into detail on that because it’s gross but it’s a real thing and you can google it. before i went to put my chicks in their new box home i noticed that a nest had been build most likely by mice. i about freaked out when i saw disgusting baby rodents in the nest. i flicked them out with my shovel and to my horror the big chickens ate them as a snack. i’m not sturdy enough for that kind of nonsense. it was gross. i finished setting everything up and went back to work checking on them when i got home and in the morning making sure they have fresh water and food. if they are huddled under the lamb they are too cold. if they are huddled in a corner as far away from the light as possible then they’re too warm. if they are running about all willy nilly then they are happy in their new quarters.

they all survived the night and seemed pretty happy with their new current living situation. stay tuned on their growth!  you can watch them in my instagram stories 


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Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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