Sunday, March 29, 2015

Naughty Birds

I had some chickens get into some mischief this week. I went out to put them to bed and found their giant bag of mealworms on the ground, torn open, and completely gone! They must have figured out that their yummy treats were in that bag and tore it open! $20 worth of mealworms were gone in a matter of minutes...Silly birds.

Expecting a treat...
I love all the pretty colors!

I had been contemplating buying them some live crickets from a bug dealer online. They would LOVE that! Crickets aren't even that expensive but you'd have to keep them in a safe place and to feed them to keep them alive. I'm not so sure I want a bag of 500 crickets in my house...Yea, no!

The chickens also figured out that I stored food in bags and the turds tore the bag open and helped themselves to their food. They are much smarter than I thought they were! I will likely move one of our garbage bins to the coop today to try and keep food lasting longer in there!

I ALMOST brought home 4 new birds yesterday but changed my mind as it got late. This week is the Poultry Seminar at Runnings and I plan to attend that. They will be having a sale on meat chickens and I want to snatch up a few of those to raise. How cool would it be to raise your own food? It's not going to be any cheaper than buying it in the store- it's actually more expensive. I think the birds only dress out to be about 5 pounds and after calculating the costs, it would cost over $12 a bird to raise, and that's just breaking even. I thought about raising them to sell them, but I don't think anyone would be remotely interested in paying $15 bucks a bird. That works out to around $3 per pound, which isn't actually that terrible of a price, but you can get boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.98 a pound at Sam's Club.

Getting big!

Steve stands weird but it's getting fixed with niacin supplements.

Just chilling in the garage.

Steve is still growing like a week. He has got to be at least a pound or two already. He is very tall, too. He can almost look over the brooder I have them in. He has a bit of a niacin deficiency going on, which can happen when you feel ducks baby chicken food. Waterfowl need more niacin and if they don't get enough, they will walk funny and can have joint problems. I bought some vitamins this week to mix in the water, and he seems to be walking better already. I also bought some niacin yesterday to add to the water. I'm told it shouldn't hurt the chicks, so hopefully that is correct.

The chicks are 5 weeks old and will be 6 weeks old on Thursday. Steve will be 5 weeks old on Thursday, too. The chicks are nearly 100% feathered and Steve is getting there. He is pretty fluffy with his baby fuzz. I took one heat lamp out of the brooder today. I am about to start prepping the small brooder for my meat chickens, so I will get that ready and hopefully clean out the coop today in hopes of moving the older babies to it next week or the week after. The weather needs to be consistently warmer in order for the babies to move to the coop.

One of my Rhode Island Red chickens came down with the sniffles this week, so she is up by the house recovering. I moved Sally back in with the rest of the birds yesterday. I'll be going out there shortly to see how she did over night. She got her little chicken butt beat up by the other sick birds when she joined them a week or so ago. My little RIR hen seems to be doing better. I have her in the kennel outside the house. I put some straw in her house and she was happily scratching through it when I last went out there. I'll likely put her back with the other chickens next week.
Sick Kennel

Little Red Hen scratching in her straw.

It was sunny and sort of warm despite the wind today, so I went and did some cleaning in my garden. I'm happy that chore is done. We'll need to burn all of the brush and weeds on a day when it is not so windy.

I need to find someone to bribe to clean out my chicken run. There's a ton of straw in it and it needs to be cleaned out, but that would be a ton of work. I'm lazy and don't want to do it, so if you know anyone who wants to earn some cash, let me know.

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