Snow and Transitional Chick Housing

We woke up this morning to this beautiful scene:

102_9544 102_9546

A small amount of snow everywhere!  It continued to snow throughout the day and we finished the day with about 2 inches.  Which is not much at all, but at least it is something.  This drought has been painful around here and wildfires are a huge worry as the weather gets warmer this spring and summer.  We need the moisture so badly.  I hope that we get more tonight and tomorrow.

The hens were happy to come out, even with a bit of snow blown into their pen, which surprised me.

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The only water that froze last night was the bunny water bottles, and they are easy enough to thaw and refill so that was no big deal.  It was a nice change from the last storm that came through and brought -18F temps at night, causing all our animal water to freeze.

On Wednesday we moved the chicks to their “transitional housing.”  Which is a just a fancy way to say that they are now living in the big coop, with no access to the outdoors and with a heat lamp.  They outgrew the brooder, but definitely are not ready to deal with the outdoors (especially in the winter) nor the cold coop without a heat source.

There was a lot of screeching and flapping.  They were NOT happy to be put in a box.  We took them about 9 at a time up to the new coop in a cardboard box.  They look SO small in that big coop, especially when I’ve only seen them in the brooder.  They also make the coop look bigger because they are so little.  Here they are when we first put them in.  They were riled up and scared so they all huddled in the corner.  We had two heat lamps at the time because we were switching the lamps and my husband was making sure it was going to work.  They only have one heat lamp now.

102_9543As they grow the food and water will not hang from the roosts anymore and the heat lamps will move up and up.  Again, this is just transitional housing.  So when I went to check on them 30 minutes later they were checking out the whole coop, walking here and there.  I could almost hear their little chicken thoughts in awe of the spaciousness of their new accommodations.  They didn’t know what to do with so much space!  Though the cold does keep them mostly on the half of the coop with the lamp.

Once they were moved I tackled the cleaning of the mud room.  You would not believe the chick dust build up in there!  Well, if you have had chicks before you might believe it.  I have been vacuuming and dusting in there every 2-3 days and yet it still builds up.  Here is a picture of my jacket that I hadn’t worn in 4 days:

102_9539Yuck!

So I’ve been using the dusting attachment on my vacuum to dust the walls, ceiling, anything and everything.  I’ve done three loads of laundry of the coats and hoodies that we had hanging in there.  Tomorrow I will hopefully get to the mopping of the floor.

I’m grateful to have that room to use for brooding, but at the same time I am SO glad they have moved out.

One thought on “Snow and Transitional Chick Housing

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