Friday, February 23, 2007

Buying Pullets (Baby Female Chickens)

We decided that we wanted to up our hen population and there is no time like the present to get started. So we picked up 10 pullets of differing breeds at Callahan's General Store in Austin while we were doing our usual Sam's Club bulk purchasing. Our oldest daughter has been tasked with learning everything she can about the birds and so we picked out 4 breeds we thought would be a good starting point: Americana Bantams, Cuckoo Maran, Welsummer and one New Hampshire Red.

We had done our usual web reading and thought we were in pretty good shape. We had built a nice, simple brooder for the chicks but I realized that they might not being staying warm enough. However I didn't act on it that night and during the morning hours why the children were homeschooling one of them died. Sometime you do not know why this happens but again I followed my instinct and did a quick reading with my wife's candy thermometer and it read 82 degrees. When doing my initial research I remembered 90 degrees however a quick web search was rewarded with multiple sites indicating that between 90-95 degrees should be kept their first week of life. So we went a bought a 250W bulb instead of the 80W that was above their current brooder. However now they're staying away from the lit area like it is too warm so we'll see.

So, as I stated we did lose one (picture above prior to burial) which the kids were sad about and especially the daughter that had picked it out as 'hers', a hard lesson but you just appreciate how much God is in control.

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