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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Meat Chickens at 4 Weeks

We have been learning a great deal about meat chickens in the last few weeks. Two things we have learned is they eat a LOT and they drink a LOT. We have 42 birds and they are eating about 100 lbs of feed per week. And we were giving them water two to three times a day. Until we got this little number Bell-Matic Poultry Waterer.

It hooks to a 5 gallon bucket and continuously supplies water to the birds as long as there is water in the bucket. This contraption is saving us a lot of trips to the chicken tractor.

The chicken tractor itself is working out great. We use a dolly under the front and just pull the tractor one space each day. The chicks have learned to move along with the tractor but in the beginning we would beat on the metal on the back side of the tractor and they would scoot away from the noise.

We were told that meat chicks really wouldn't forage but they do. Not as much as other chicks but as soon as they get to new ground they start eating the grass and looking for bugs and worms.

They really do a number on the ground though. After just one day the grass is all beaten down with lots of poop on it. We are hoping that that is a good thing. I will be posting pictures this weekend of us moving the tractor and how the ground looks after 24 hours.

Have a great day!

Linking to the Homestead Barn Hop

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bees and Chicken Tractors

We picked up our package bees on May 4th. Since we lost our hive last fall we decided to start with 2 hives this spring. We should have done that in the first place but hindsight is 20/20. When we checked on them on Wednesday, May 7th the queens had been released.

Hives are ready

A little sugar water bath.

 Pouring the bees into the hive.

The aftermath.

We plan to check the hives again tonight, if the weather permits, to see how things are progressing. They have already slowed down on the sugar water. Honeysuckles are blooming and soon the Honey Locust will be in full bloom so we are hoping the hives will do well this year.

We have also been working on the chicken tractor. It is finished and waiting for the chicks. I only have pictures of the beginning of the project and haven't taken one of the completed tractor yet.
The roof is on
Side view

There is one piece of metal on either side that is even with the roof and one across the back. The rest is chicken wire.

Our garden isn't planted yet, We are getting a late start once again. It seems like when we are home it's raining or the garden is too wet to get into. Hopefully, it will be planted soon.
Things have still been busy even without getting the garden in. 

Have a great day!