Meet Hazel

Hazel hatched March 18th, an Ameraucana Easter Egger.

Moving Day, Brooder to Coop

A week early, but temperatures are on the rise and my 5 week old chicks will be more comfortable in the chicken yard than in the brooder shed.  Today it’s expected to reach 100 degrees, with a low of 68-70. Welcome to Phoenix little ladies, the summers here are far from paradise. By June temps will average 105, and July is worse, when there are days that can hit 115+.

The chicken yard is shady and set up where there is plenty of air flow.  They’ll be happier having the ability to lay in cool dirt. The brooder shed is ideal for raising chicks in our winter months, but I started chicks late this year. It’s easy to keep chicks warm, but keeping them cool is a whole different story.  So here they are, in the big girl pen.

I think girls are feathered enough, especially the Wyandottes (black ones.) The Ameraucanas (white) are a slower to mature, but they are mostly feathered, tonight they will huddle together for warmth if they need it.

It can be a challenge keeping chickens in extreme heat, but they manage if you provide them with the tools they need.  Here’s a helpful article explaining how to raise chickens when temperatures are crazy high…

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Updating the Chicken Coop

Chicks in the Brooder are Three Weeks Old

The March 18th chicks are growing fast and there’s work to be done before they leave the brooder and move into the coop.  As long as I’m stuck at home, seemed like a great time to update the chicken coop. There’s always something I’m not satisfied with, this year I’m going to do something about it.

My biggest pain in the butt are wild birds eating all my chicken feed. They squeeze through the tiniest hole in the chicken pen, and then can’t get out. They fly around inside bouncing off the walls, causing total chaos among the flock.

You probably think this is no big deal, but chicken feed is expensive, and wild birds can easily eat 5lbs or more every single day. That means I’m buying a $14.99 bag of feed every 8 days or so. Taking that into consideration, it would be a lot cheaper to just buy eggs!

The coop is a 10×10 covered chain link pen, inside an open air barn or shedrow at the back of our property. I had it completely covered with aviary netting, that was somewhat suitable, however, birds and lizards would get caught in it. That’s another problem I  want to avoid so I took all of it off. One problem solved, but another was created.   I was now committed to finding a favorable solution.

The Solution
I bought 3 50ft rolls of 1/2 inch hardware cloth and have almost finished covering the entire coop. Talk about time consuming, OMG. My fingers are a mess, my nails broken, and my arms look like I’ve been in a battle zone.  BUT, there will be no birds getting in my coop this year!

The Girls at Three Weeks Old

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