Thursday, May 9, 2013


So we got 26 chickens this spring. They came as day-old chicks from McMurray hatchery. I couldn't have asked for a better transaction - none died, none had pasty butt, and everyone was in excellent health.
I needed somewhere to incubate them. Enter: The Chick-u-bator.
The Chick-u-bator in all its glory

The Chick-u-bator is basically an 8 x 4 sheet of plywood, with 16" tall sides, and metal fencing pieces nailed on to keep animals in and/or out, as necessary. It also has a heat lamp on one side, and a hanging feeder and chicken waterer on the other. The bottom is lined with leftover hay I cut last year.
I used some leftover 2x4's to build some anchors connecting the sides and bottom. The whole thing sits on three 2x4's, so very little wood makes contact with the ground. The ends have some posts sticking up, to which is screwed an 8-foot beam. From the beam hangs the heat lamp (at 18" from the hay) and the waterer, made from the bucket the lambs' milk replacer came in. A crossbar helps the feeder hit the right height.
Topping it all off is a rolling door of chicken wire, with a 1x1" beam to weight it down.
I have the whole thing inside my shed, so they heat lamp and protection from the lements keeps them warm and cozy at night, and so the peeping doesn;t attract possums or raccoons.
The chickens love it.
Wifers got the pleasure of opening the chicks up and placing them in. The took to the food and waterer pretty quickly, and they like to settle down by the heat lamp and nap...a lot.
It's been over a week now, but they're doing great.
Wife, Thing #2, and Thing #1, bottom to top, with most of the baby chicks.
We have some Rhode Islands Reds, Black Australorps, Jersey Giants, and Red Stars, along with two TBD's. It'll be fun to see how they develop, and to find out which ones work best for us. My guess is the Giants will, due to the quantity of meat and the laid back demeanor. Groovy.
Next step: building the coop. Plans are underway....

No comments:

Post a Comment