Day -5:

Weeks leading up to the Chick’s Arrival:

We are preparing for a new brood of laying hens, who will arrive when they are newly hatched from Honolulu. In the weeks in which we were expecting their arrival, we got the home ready for our new babies. Chicks are very fragile in the first days and weeks, and we need to fill all the needs that their mother hen would: warmth, food and water.

The Brooder:

Besides the large chicken shed, we have a very well built small shed which is most importantly Mongoose-Proof! The wire caging even runs into the floor of the cage so the mongoose can’t dig their way in. They are a huge threat to chickens here. For the baby chicks, we sectioned off half of the coop with a cardboard wall, a space of about 3X6 ft. The floor of the coop is wood shavings and natural farm mulch. We reinforced the walls with cardboard near the ground so that no cross-breeze will chill the chicks.

We hung a hundred watt light-bulb from an extension chord so that it’s proximity to the chicks is adjustable according to what they need.

The Waterers

We needed to make a waterer that would keep the water fresh and prevent the chicks from getting into the water and pooping or drowning. After some researched and failed attempts we came up with this design:

The base is made of two large sour cream containers. The bottom one is cut into a shallow dish. The top one is cut in sections for the chicks to put their face through. A whole is cut in the top and another hole is drilled near the base of the bottle to allow the water to seep out. The lid of the bottle must be on tight, creating a vacuum seal to ensure that all the water doesn’t flow out too fast.

The Feeder

We used a large ice-tea bottle and cut sections out at the bottom to allow the feed to fall out naturally to fill the shallow plastic dish we cut for the bottom out of a salad dressing container. We made sure it’s not too big so that the chicks can’t stand on it and poop in their feed.

 

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