Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

First off thanks for all the comments on my last post. I love comments. It shows folks care about what I babble on about.  While the seedlings grow upstairs with relatively little aid from me, I turned my attention to CHICKENS! Yes, they arrive tomorrow whether I'm ready or not.  And no, you haven't missed all the posts about me building my chicken coop with my brother and father-in-law, because there haven't been any. Our coops are not started, let alone done.  The good news is that we won't NEED them for a few months, but life is going to become a bit more chicken crazy until then, so taking time out to build two coops is not as easy as it sounds... hehe.  But as my brother said, everyone he's read about had grand plans to build their coop before they got chicks, but didn't, and they turned out ok. 

The main reason we haven't built coops has been the weather.  It's rained off and on every day for the last month, making it tough to work outside.  That and I tried to get my brother to work over here but he must not have liked that idea because he's never mentioned it again.  Oh, well. It'll get done, especially as the weather improves.

For now, I've got more important things to worry about. The chicks need a home.  I've been accumulating supplies over time and now believe I have everything I need for the first month or so.  Last night I set it all up for a dry run.  Since the chicks need to be kept at 95 degrees for the first week, I wanted to make sure I had the light hanging at the right height to give me 95 degrees on the floor of the brooder box.  A few adjustments and a few hours later and presto!

I liked the water dish that hooks up to a mason jar.  It's not like we don't have THOSE lying around, and they go through the dish washer well.  I had planned on getting the metal feeder that did the same thing, but after talking to the folks at the Bothell Feed Store, the small feeder wouldn't be enough for when they get bigger, so I got the 18 inch tray feeder.  It's a bit overkill for the brooder box, but for now I'm pinching pennies so it'll work for their entire lives. Oh, and did you notice the direct access to water there in the spare bathroom?  Quite handy. Hehe.  Now here's my brooder box looking down.
I sure hope this gives them enough room to for 4 to 5 weeks.  I hope my four girls don't out grow it until I have a chance to set up their teen-age box in the garage.  Also, I hope the weather heats up enough that I won't have to heat the garage other than the heat lamp. 

On the gardening front, I actually took the hoop cover off the salad bed to allow Mother Nature to water again.  I was a bit worried because it had been 3 days and no rain was expected that day.  What was I to do? I haven't de-winterized the outdoor faucets yet, so I have no water outside.  That reminded me that this spring's other project is to hook up my rain barrels.  Fun, fun times!

When I got the cover off, I noticed the lettuce was growing well, except for one plant that looks like it's been devoured by something.
Slugs maybe? Sure hope it comes back. I've got no more buttercrunch seedlings started.  I'd have to plant something else in its place.  Time will tell I guess.

Well, I hope you're interested in my chicken adventure, because I expect you'll be seeing a lot about it in the coming months.

Until then, enjoy your garden!


  1. You'll actually want to keep them under the lamp for the first 8-9 weeks or until they are fully feathered. I work at a small garden store in Tacoma where we sell chicks and that is the instructions we give to customers. We have our 2nd hatch of the season arriving tomorrow. What kind of chicks are you getting?

  2. How exciting that the chicks are coming soon! I love the little fuzz butts. :D Your set up looks good. But I bet you will be setting up the larger area for them within a few weeks. They out grow those boxes really fast... at least my little flock did!

  3. Oh how exciting!! You ARE getting chickens! I am so looking forward to seeing them grow up.

  4. Congratulations on your babies! I'm getting mine tomorrow and I'm so excited. I'll be working with about the same set up. I'm not sure what their teenage bin will look like, so be sure to share pictures of yours for inspriation!