Sunday, April 28, 2013

Merry-Go-Round the Brooder


I hope everyone remained dry today as the monsoons of Ohio rained down upon us. So they wouldn't get jungle rot, the chickens stayed in Kennel Bar. They look innocent in their picture, but I believe they were smoking and playing pool before we came to the barn to do the evening chores.

At least the chick harassment has stopped...for now.

Dan and I play a game with the chicks every night. I like to call it "Merry-Go Round the Brooder". It is called this because the little buggers understand the concept of leaving the brooder, but not going back in like they should. A couple of weeks ago, Dan and I lifted the lid of the brooder to allow the chicks the freedom of roaming around their own "mini bar" during the day. This way they can stretch their legs and wings and enjoy their natural tendencies of pecking and scrathing around. Plus they are not trying to kill each other out of annoyance and crowded spaces. We placed a little ramp in the brooder for them, that dad made us last year, so they can get out of the brooder. We also placed another ramp (thanks dad!) on top of the brooder so they can get down to the ground.

Their tiny minds have discovered how to get out...we have yet to go in the "mini bar" and see that they have figured out how to get back in. Though be fair, we haven't waited until the scary darkness chases them back inside their comfort zone of lights and happiness. But personally, I don't think it would make any difference.

Because of this we engage in the daily routine of chicken chasing, snatching up the chicks one by one (or in Dan's case, two by two...he's real good at chicken catching)

and physically placing them back inside the brooder before closing the lid at night. This game is hard for's hard to chase a fast tiny creature and quickly bending down to grab it with a bowling ball in your gut. At first we would go round and around and around that darn brooder...

Chicken chasing is much easier when you can corner more than one bird at a time. So Dan put up a small fence that makes it so the chicks can't get all the way around and we can cut them off easier.

The little buggers are smart though. My little Fumm (who is also a rooster by the way...that's another post!) can fit himself between the end of the "fence" and brooder and create a hole big enough for the bigger breeds to cut through. The fence helps out a lot, but they can still leak through.

I'm not looking forward to the days when I have to do this on my own and Dan will be off planting until long after dark. These little squirts don't have too much longer to figure out the ways of the chicken world!

(It's funny because it's the same birds that are brave enough to leave the brooder everyday. We have some birds who have never gotten out!

                                                                                             ...cluck... cluck... cluck...

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