Friday, June 24, 2016

Thirteen Chicks in a Pan

Patience is definitely the key around my house lately. Even with their beautiful new living quarters, all was not bliss, for myself nor my baby chickens, last night. I made numerous trips to check on my them, before my bedtime since it was their first night separated from their moms. They didn't want to settle down and accept the fact that Mommie was no longer there to snuggle with them at bedtime and scratch out their food and call them for their meals. Having to grow up is proving that it is indeed a cruel hard world, at least until you learn the ropes. After about the third trip out in the darkness to check on the chicks, I went out once more to hear an unusually loud chirping sound coming from the area of the shed, near the chicken coop. As I walked nearer to the chicks, I could see a Sparrow Hawk fly out of the shed, and realized it was the one doing the loud chirping. I guess he heard the baby chick's cries of distress and thought he might find an easy meal. All was not well quite yet with the chicks, but I went back inside, hoping they would settle down soon.With my next trip out to check on them, I find several chicks, huddled up in the opposite corner of the cage from where their roosting box was located, sitting on the bear wet ground, in a spot where there was not even a sprig of grass to make a comfortable bed. I felt so sorry for them,I draped an old quilt around the corner of the cage. I had an old rusted granite wash pan that I had once used as a flower pot, placed in their cage, filled with dirt for them to wallow in and clean their feathers. I lined it with grass from my compost bin, and moved it to the corner where they had congregated. Then back to the house I went. About 30 minutes later, I decided to go and check one more time, hoping this would be my last trip to check on them for tonight. Some of the chicks had previously,ventured into the roosting box, but during my final trip out, I found every single chick, all 13 of them, nestled up in the wash pan. All encircled like a covey of quail. It was so comical, I had to make one more trip with my camera. So now that you know WHAT you are looking at, hopefully, you can see the chicks in the pan. They had no need for the duster I had placed there as a temporary Mother. Thirteen chicks in a wash pan was snugly and warm enough.
Thirteen chicks in a wash pan

This is the new chicken tractor made by my son-in-law, David Painter. He had no pattern, but had seen others on the web and came up with this design. It has an open bottom so the chicks can have access to fresh grass and clover as it is pulled around the yard. It has retractable wheels and a tougue and hitch to pull it from place to place.

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