Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Is it possible for chickens to be any dumber?

My baby chickens are not doing their part in our relationship.  They are not staying alive and everyone else is not laying eggs.  Definitely, a one sided relationship.  The babies I bought late last year are just dying.  I would like to say it is a predator for certain but I know several that cooked themselves against the heat lamp, and several more that froze themselves to death by not going into the coop, two more have starved to death because they cannot move the three feet to get to the food and a couple more have deformed feet and/or beaks.  I did a head count today and only counted 16 babies left out of 27 to start for a survival rate of 59%, which totally sucks.  I caught every one of the babies and tossed them out of the baby area into the main chicken coop.  I am hoping they follow the adult chickens out to water in the morning or they are going to die.  At this rate I am going to have to buy another dozen chicks this spring.  I think I am just going to plan on it.  The only bad part about that is I need to dig out the baby area, clean it all up and lay down new bedding for the new chicks.  It will be a day just to get ready for the new babies.  I could have the girls do it...

Two nights ago Annmarie and I thought we heard a chicken in its death throes.  I ran outside wearing my bathrobe, some boots and the shotgun with lantern light hanging from my pump hand.  Annmarie came out with the other lantern light and we searched all over to no avail.  My chicken door still does not work.  The chicken door guy sent me a new motor the second week of January and I have been too busy to install it.  Plus he wants me to glue the motor in place.  Good luck keeping the glue warm enough to set up.  It has been fairly warm the last few days so I popped the other motor out (comparing motor part numbers to make sure he sent me the new and improved version, he did) and glued the new one in.  I had to move the heat lamp over from the baby area to shine onto the motor.  I then tied the light in place over the clamp so the chickens could not knock it down and start a fire.  Tomorrow I should be able to hook up the door and plug in the motor to see if it actually works.  Here is hoping it works. 

There was only 3 eggs today.  The chickens are not even producing 2 dozen eggs/week.   I want to get started on the laundry room closet this week.  I brought some more tools inside the house and set up my compound miter saw outside on the old house porch.  Now I just need to measure for the shelves and see if the corner is actually 90 degrees.  I am going to install the shelve brackets first on the two walls and then attach everything to them.  This will make construction easier for me.  I just have to get all the measurements figured out before I cut anything.