The day is here, the meat chicks are coming this morning- I hope. They have spent the last two days in the U.S. mail system and today has to be the day they come without fear of losing them to hunger and dehydration. Three days is the max the chicks can live off the yolk sack they hatch out with.
So as is usual there is a cold snap for the next 3 days, never fails. The brooder has been warming all night with both lights on and I'm hoping that will be enough to keep the 30 i have warm. I've got this down to a science though. i have a 300 gallon galvanized horse waterer to keep them in for the first 3 or 4 weeks, which i line with fresh leaf litter or finished compost to get their little guts going with friendly microbes. Chickens get a lot of nutrients from dirt if it is biologically active, add dirt with worms and the chicks get extra protein as well. I've found that i don't lose any chicks and don't have any mud butt if i do this and feed them non-medicated feed that is crushed grain, organic, non-GMO. It truly makes a difference, when i got the batch of turkeys, red ranger, and americanas i was fighting mud butt for a week- those guys get in and are put on medicated feed and clean shavings right away.
Life lessons from chickens… Let the kids eat dirt!
Born in New Hampshire and raised in Maine, Eva's passion for living self sustainably began with Helen and Scott Nearing. Both were homesteaders who carved their lives from the land. Eva now lives in Eastern West Virginia, with her husband Dain and daughter Shayna, carving out her own life.