Nothing like getting an unexpected call from the post office at 7:30am- “we have some chicks here for you”… “Okay, I’ll be right there.” Panic followed by an adrenaline rushed morning ensued. My family did not sit down for breakfast, or brunch rather, until 4 hours later.
Yes I was expecting that call, but not until the NEXT day. It should have been no big deal to have our chicks come a day early, and most of the time I try to plan ahead for those unexpected early arrivals, but this week I did not. We did not have our brooder warm and ready for a new batch of chickens. Not to mention I was not prepared for that 30 minute trip to town on the spur of notice (quickly packing up six kids- that were still sleeping- is not as simple as it sounds), but we survived. The brooder was hastily cleaned up, heat lamps turned on, waters filled, and feed prepped. Our first 200 broiler chicks are now happily settled in their new home- thanks to group effort from our crew of little helpers!
This marks the official start of our 2021 broiler season. These babies will be ready to process in approximately 10 weeks, around the week of June 9, so the countdown has begun! The first 3 weeks they will spend in the warm and protected brooder and then they will move into the pasture for the last 7 weeks.
Since our broilers moved in, the layer chicks had to move out! They are five weeks old and fully feathered out now. They still have a lot of growing to do, but are officially outside in a modified pasture pen (aka “the chicken yurt”). This may not be their permanent home but for now it is serving its purpose to get them outside in the fresh air and sunshine as they continue to grow. They will be moved around in this floor-less pen until they are big enough to let out to range (at their current size our barn cats think they are tasty snacks).
All that’s left on my list for this week now is to transplant 900 onion seedlings I started inside…
Until next time,
P.S. If you haven’t done so yet, please get your chicken order form filled out to reserve your chickens this summer!