I may never get done with this school year, with all the days I'll be making up in mid-June!
But it was a great day to work outside. The clouds parted, out came the sun, and the temperatures were right around 50 degrees. The forecast for the rest of the week looks wonderful, so it was time to get cracking on the outdoor brooder for the fast growing chicklets. They were far outgrowing their temporary "tub" in the bathroom, and it was creating a host of other issues as well. I don't talk about it often on the blog, but I have terrible asthma due to repeated bouts of pleurisy and pneumonia. And this past February, I had a bad run with pleurisy so this spring, my lungs are extra "tetchy" and having those chicks in the bathroom was making it very hard to breathe. While I was using old newspaper as bedding, chickens do create very fine dust all on their own--and with chicks, you get little bits of fluffy down shed as well. It was getting to the point that just ducking in to use the potty was leaving me groping for my inhaler. The final straw was last night, when I woke up at 3 AM hearing a really odd noise and thought it was the storm. Turns out it was my chest squealing...let me tell you, hauling yourself outta bed to use a nebulizer at 3 AM is no party, so the chicks needed to fly the coop (so to speak) and move on out so I could de-dust my bathroom!
I spent a lovely morning outside, and here's what I built:
|Seen from the side, with the nifty feedbox in a handy location|
|The improved door, which lets me get in and keeps chicks from being squashed in the process!|
Currently there is one heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb in there, which seems to be making it more than warm enough for the chicklets. They have a bed of 6 inch deep wood shavings to keep them extra cosy, and before I go to bed for the night I'll go out with an additional quilt to toss over the top and keep them toasty for the night. I have a feeling I'll need to pull off some layers before I leave for the day tomorrow, or I'll have some hot chicks! For now, though, they are getting used to having a much larger world to explore.
|Aww, warm chicklets in their house (not my bathroom).|