Saturday, June 9, 2012

They've arrived!

 This morning, I slept in a little in honor of Saturday.  It was glorious--no alarm, no howling cat reminding me that they needed to be fed, just peace and the rumble of the window air conditioner.  But once I was up, dressed, and had a cup of coffee in me, I had a mission.

Today was Brooder Building Day.

A few months ago, I placed my order of Cornish Cross meat chickens with McMurray Hatchery, and picked the next available due date: June 11th.  Now, McMurray is a great company to work with, but they do have a tendency to mail their chicks early.  As in, three to four days early.  And that meant, I should have had a brooder ready about three days ago...but there's nothing like procrastination to get the blood pumping and the power tools revved up.

I picked up several sheets of chipboard, a couple of old free pallets, and some corner brackets from the local lumberyard.  The pallets bring it up off the floor (to help avoid flooding from rainstorms), and the chipboard works to make the sides and flooring under the pine shavings.  Hinge one end, and you've got yourself a brooder.  There was a brief moment of consternation when two different heat lamp bulbs "pinged" and died immediately after plugging in.  Luckily, I had squirreled away a 250 watt red heat light bulb in a safe location.  What was even more lucky was that I was able to find that "safe location".  I am fantastic about losing things that have been put into "safe places".  They're so safe, no one can ever find them.  Ha ha.

No sooner had I driven in the last screw and spread the layer of shavings when my phone rang.  It was the post office dispatch center in Eau Claire, informing me that several boxes of chicks had arrived with my name on it.  So this afternoon, I hopped into Lucille Laverne and cruised down to the backside of Lake Hallie to pick up my chicks.

Have chicks, will travel.  I swear I should write bumper stickers.

Anyway, there were THREE boxes of chicks.  I've never gotten three boxes all at once before.  Two hundred chicks were peeping madly away, the entire hour drive home.  If you didn't like  that sound, you would be driven to madness.  It could be a new torture technique.  Well, maybe the CIA already uses it?  Once we got home, I filled up the water container and feed trays, and it was time to unpack the weary travelers.  Each one got their little beak dunked twice (that is 400 dunks...not that I counted) and then was tossed into the general melee.  There were chicks running all over the place, on top of my feet, around my ankles, trying to leap into the waterer, climbing all around the feeders.

It was sheer bedlam.

It was wonderful.

In a couple weeks, these little yellow fuzzballs will be feathered out and ready to spend a summer in the fields, munching on grass and bugs and fulfilling their purpose to become delicious dinners for many.

Now, I just have to build eight chicken tractors in the next two weeks....


  1. Wow i need to watch you build those as I need some too!

    1. No spectators, you'd get to help build them! :-D


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