Finally. Finally!! The massive snow drifts are gone. Temperatures of -30 are a thing of the past. Frost is…well still happening some nights… but less and less. That’s right, Spring has finally come to the north again! The days are sunny, the temperatures are tolerable, and everything is coming into bloom.
Along with the more pleasant weather, our birds have been getting some upgrades to their accommodations. The big chickens now have an larger run in front of their coop; about 8′ x 3′. The quail have moved into a new A-frame pen as they’ve outgrown the small 2’x5′ pen. And, today we’ve welcomed a newly hatched batch of Wheaten Marans chicks who are now occupying the old quail pen as another outdoor brooding experiment.
Even though the bigger chicks have a new run, they are typically free-ranged all day. Since many were hatched during the winter months, they were confined to their coop for a number of weeks. This was actually a blessing as the chickens know the coop as home and will return to it whenever they are frightened and at night time. Only once so far have I found a chicken somehow escaped the coop and was roosting on the fence to sleep at night. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen. He was sound asleep and I was able to gently pick him up and place him in the coop all without him waking up! Forget “sleeping like a log”, I hope to sleep like a chicken one of these nights! 🙂
So, how about a rundown of the characters we currently have in our flock?
From the first batch hatched February 1, 2016
From the second batch hatched March 2, 2016
Third batch hatched May 4 & 5, 2016:
The first batch hatched had their brooder in our house. The second batch was a combination of their brooder in the house for about a week and then in the big chicken coop. The batch hatched today have their brooder outside and are using the old, small quail pen.
The first batch used a heat lamp exclusively. The second batch used a heat lamp for the first week and then the Brinsea EcoGlow heater thereafter. The third batch will be strictly using the Brinsea EcoGlow.
The first batch had no fatalities after hatching. The second batch had 3 of the silver laced wyandottes die from, what appeared to be, failure to thrive. I’m hopeful this new batch doesn’t have any fatalities like the first!
All in all, these bird are keeping us busy! The Twinkies enjoy helping me water the birds and generally enjoy observing their behaviours.