It’s that time of year for chicks in Arizona, and we couldn’t be happier to say goodbye to the dreadful heat of summer. Our first lot of chicks are Welsummer, Wyandotte, and Australorp. Next month we hatch Silkies!
This is the first run using the new brooder, exciting!
Ready for my fall chicks with this totally customized brooder! Hubby spent countless weekends designing and building this beautiful addition to my brooder shed. The interior can be divided into two sections, both are designed for radiant heating as well as overhead low wattage supplemental heat lamps. The plexiglass front allows the chicks to actually see the world before they’re moved into the grow pen.
• Brooder has six conveniently placed power outlets and cord stays.
• Plenty of storage below for all those bulky supplies.
• Digital wireless temperature read-out from brooder to our home.
• Floor of brooder is easy to clean linoleum tiles.
• Top lifts for easy access on both sections and both are self-soft closing.
• Brooder box is high so it’s easy on the back for cleaning.
Dot and Willow couldn’t be happier to be out and about with the flock. This is Mamma (Black Silkie) and Randi (Buff Silkie hen) tending to the kids while out for breakfast. The chicks are three weeks old today.
Interesting, Randi is at the top of the pecking order and although bossy and sometimes nasty, she is very kind to the youngsters.
Mamma hen was separated from the flock five weeks ago to hatch and raise her baby chicks in a quiet and safe environment. The chicks are now two weeks old and it’s time to move Mamma and her babies back to the coop. To keep harmony among the flock, I’ve closed off a corner with hardware cloth to allow visibility between existing flock, Mamma and babies. The frame is merely PVC pipe cut in 3 foot sections with wire attached using zip ties.
Here’s the set-up I’m using from Nursery to Coop…
Inside Nursery Coop
Coop Transition Pen
Moving the hen with her chicks is best done at night when all the birds are sleeping. Last night wearing my handy head lamp, I headed out to the nursery coop. Throwing a blanket over the nest, I took Mom and her chicks, nest box and all, and placed it in the designated transition pen inside the coop. Come morning it will be introduction time! Safe, peaceful, and everybody is happy.
After a week or so, I’ll allow Mamma to take her babies out of the enclosure. She will protect her babies from the existing flock, and at about five weeks, she will begin putting distance between her and them.
Many chicken keepers allow their hens to hatch their eggs in a secluded area within the chicken coop. Others move hen and eggs back to coop three or four days before the hatch, both ways are certainly okay. I just like to give my hens a quiet place to do their mothering, it’s merely a personal preference.