Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting the Baby's Room Ready

Not a human baby.
A chicken baby.
Four chicks, maybe 5.
The first thing I did was take a look at my "keeping chicks warm" situation.
Having a giant heat lamp hanging over the babies like bags of old french fries bothers me for two reasons.
1.) They are never in the dark. Red light shines on them 24/7.
I can't really imagine what a drag it is to sleep with the lights on.

2.) If the light somehow falls into the enclosure, it starts a fire.
Fires are bad.


I spent way too much time researching alternatives and this is what I found.
If you click on the photo, you can see more about how this method works.
The Brinsea EcoGlow20 has many claims to its perfectness and every review was glowing.
I used a Christmas gift card from Preston and Katie to offset the price (thanks kids!!).


Next I needed a brooder box.
I happen to be one of those people who'll talk to strangers---that's how you make new friends.
In this case, my talking to strangers netted me a fabulous box from the produce section in my local grocery store. 
 The produce manager was more than happy to give me an old box. 
 A giant box!
I honestly think it is brand new, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
My theory is this--you just have to ask.  All they can do is say no.  
He said yes.

overhead shot
Next came a roosting bar.
I jury-rigged a bar out of old pvc pipe.
Necessity is the mother of invention. 

side shot


Next came the watering station.
Chicks are notorious for filling their water with shavings and poop.
Can't do much about the poop, but elevating the water can help with keeping the shavings out.


I added rocks to the water tray.
Chicks have a propensity to drowning in the first week or two of life.
I'll add more rocks, but this gives you the idea.


 You may recognize the yellow as part of the chick warmer.  It is.
The only flaw in the design of the thing, is that it has a flat top. 
A perfect place to hop on and off and back on again.
A perfect place to poop.
I covered the top with an old box to keep it clean.


Lastly, I made a cover for the box.  The wood is stapled onto the piece of fencing.  While the chicks won't be able to fly (yet), it's important to protect them from cats and other predators.  
Even though this is in my garage, the doors often get left open and anything could come in.
I read another chicken owners account of having a Red Tailed Hawk come right in her garage and get in her brooder with her chicks.  Seems the peep-peeping of the chicks attracted the hawk.


All that's left to do is head to the local feedstore and pick out my new chicks!

I was going to do that today, but I'm getting in baby squirrels, so it'll have to wait til Monday. 

5 comments:

  1. How, this is a great, well-though out setup. Thanks for sharing! (I even pinned it to a pinterest board of mine for future reference).

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  2. Looks like those baby chicks are going to be moving into the Ritz!

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  3. You are the perfect chick Momma and baby animal healer!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  4. Almost makes me want some baby chcks of my own. Nice setup. When l visit the chicks qnd bunnies at the feedstore ilI'll think of you.

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  5. We are headed that way too...I plan to go this week too if all goes well to get some chicks...I am so excited!

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