The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Chick Wrangling

June 12th, 2014 · No Comments · Posted in farming


Our new layer chicks have spent six weeks in the brooder. It’s high time they moved outside. We’ve got another group of 50 broiler chicks arriving tomorrow so we need that brooder.

Moving the chicks is easier said than done. Catching them inside the brooder–a box five feet square with a wire mesh lid–proves to be quite comical. When they see us coming, the chicks all run to one corner of the box. Reach for them there, and they all scurry to the opposite corner. Meanwhile, they’re chirping madly and piling on top of one another.

It takes three of us to get it right, one on either side of the box and a third person running the captured chicks outside the the permanent coop (or in this case, a waiting tractor). I use a short piece of lumber–gently–to herd the chicks and sometimes, if I’m lucky, actually gather one into my hand.

Soon enough, the chicks are strutting around their new home as if nothing ever happened. This time we have 19 Rhode Island Red chicks destined to join the flock out in the pasture, where we lost so many of our hens to the local foxes this spring. Another 30 or so Americauna chicks are headed to the coop we originally built for the Guinea hens that disappeared. My wife and daughter are taking charge of this flock because they like the idea of the so-called Easter colored eggs the Americauna lay.

The Rhode Island reds will be moving about the property in their tractor–that’s a box eight feet long, four feet wide, same as we use for the broilers–until they’re big enough to fit in with their sisters in the orchard.

There. Do we have enough moving parts to this farm now?

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