Today’s 2 minute video blog is showing what it looks like to come up to the brooder first thing in the morning.The birds are 13 days old in this video.There are 74 or 75 birds in the brooder.We’ve had no ‘deadies’ in several days.I still have the warming lights on – as the nights have been staying cold.
Yay!Our first batch of chickens arrived on Wednesday.It is a wonder to me that you can order living things and the post office will deliver them to you.And, that these little creatures that were just born/hatched are able to survive the trip without food or water or warmth.Then, when you take them out of the box, they just instinctively know how to peck the feed and drink from the waterer.Incredible!
So, they will be in their cozy little brooder for three weeks, and then out to the pasture they will go.Where they can scratch and peck all the bugs and grubs and worms and ticks and fly larva and anything else they can find to their hearts content while soaking up lots of sunshine and breathing the fresh air.
We ordered 50 Jumbo Cornish Cross meat chickens and 25 mixed breed laying chickens. They sent along a few extra. Good thing, as about that many haven’t made it. Heartbreaking when you find them. The layers have proven hardier than the meat chicks, and they are vastly cuter.
It really is amazing how quickly they grow. So much so that they seem to get bigger right before your eyes!
Check out our little brood. Sorry it’s a little shaky. But hey, I’m new to this, cut me some slack!
The cows, T-bone & Ribeye, have been on pasture for almost 3 weeks now, and yesterday was the first day that I was able to help move them into a fresh paddock. The paddocks are sized so that it takes about 2 days for the two cows to eat them down before they need to be moved. Having done this several times now, Greg said it was the smoothest transition he’s had so far. Experience, along with trial & error, is probably the reason for that, but, whatever, I took it as a compliment.
It’s really neat to see how seemingly happy they are to have a refreshed salad bar, and to watch them seek out the “candy” grasses first. Their coats have gotten so shiny, and they have already started to fill out. They are almost completely devoid of the mud and muck that was caked on them when we first got them. And, except for the face flies that annoy them, they are the picture of contentment. To that issue, our first batch of chickens is due to arrive next week. They will brood under the heat lamps for three weeks, and then will be out on the pasture behind the cows scratching through the cow patties and eating the fly larva with the intent of reducing the fly population and elevating much of that problem.
It’s so pleasant to watch the cows kick their feet up and dance around the field so joyfully. It is also amazing to see how the pasture regenerates so quickly that you can’t tell where they pastured only a week earlier. All in all, things seem to be working the way they are suppose to, and I am very excited to see how the Polyface method works fully implemented!