New Chicks and a New Coop

Well this spring has flown by at Pachamama Organics. It has been jam-packed full of prep for the season ahead. We have been working nonstop and it’s starting to pay off!

We have 40 new chicks that will be our egg layers for the next few years. This year I decided to go with a mix of heritage breeds to brighten up the flock. This means we will have hens and eggs in all the colours!

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The chicks were in a small pen in the garage for the last 5 weeks. We had two heating lamps, under which everyone could stay warm. After a couple weeks we added some perches for our chicks to play on and to make sure that they don’t develop foot problems. When the chicks started to get a little antsy I would go outside and grab a shovel full of sod, I broke the sod into small pieces and gave it to the chicks to tear apart. THEY LOVED IT! All of the chicks went totally crazy, looking for grubs and munching on the grass! We also introduced the chicks to a new style of waterer (for us) – a bucket with nipples on the bottom. The chickens peck the nipples which allows some water to drip down into their beak. This means no mess in the waterer, so we can use large buckets and refill less often.

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They are getting bigger and if I’m honest.. uglier each day. I’m really looking forward to the end of the awkward teen weeks. We are going to have some beautifully feathered girls soon!

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Now that they are getting big we had to move them outside where they can have more space. I spent this morning sealing the bottom 4′ of a 10’x 10′ kennel and attached mini-coop. Toby helped me wrangle the 40 panicking little fluffs and carry them to the new digs. I built a small play structure full of perches for them, made sure they had lots of food and water and then left them to get comfortable.

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Due to the increase in numbers we are building a new luxury sized coop. I designed it in sketch-up, ordered the materials, dug a nice base for the foundation and Toby taught me the ins and outs of framing a small structure. Thanks to my rocking foundation we were able to lay some 4x4s down and build the floor right on top of them. After the floor was done we framed the walls one at a time and tacked on the exterior plywood. This past weekend we lifted them all up and voila! We have a roofless coop! Next weekend’s project will be getting the roof up, building the nesting boxes and putting in the windows and doors. After that I will insulate, vapor barrier and seal the walls, lay down a water proof floor, install perches, add the feeder/waterer and lay down bedding. Hopefully it will be move in ready within two weeks!

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We are *so* excited to finish the coop! I’ll make sure to post pictures of the work next weekend!! For now, there is more to do on the farm!

Talk soon!

 

 

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