Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flock Management: Separating the Girls

If you've been following the news at Red Bucket Farm, you already know that we have three mature laying hens and this spring's baby chicks. The chicks (hatched March 28) are now getting pretty big for the brooder box. Unfortunately, we can't incorporate them into the main flock and chicken coop until they are very nearly the same size as the mature hens. It might be June or July before we can allow them all together or the big girls will pick on the little ones.

As an interim measure, we divided the fenced chicken yard into two sections. In the photo above, you can see the main chicken coop on the left with the big hens grazing. On the right, you can see our make-shift shelter for the chicks covered with a blue tarp. They have their own food and water beneath the tarp, and a portion of chicken yard to poke around in. The fence between them is temporary; we'll remove that in a few weeks and hope they don't notice.

Meanwhile, the big girls certainly have noticed! Rosie the Redstar complains all day every day. Braaawk-buk-buk-buk. I hope that she'll get used to the little girls.

The chicks still go in their brooder box at night. The daytime trips to the chicken yard are good for them, but their shelter is by no means predator proof, so we scoop them up and return them to the garage at night.

By the way, if you're ever tempted to raise chicks inside your house, think twice. It took me hours to clean the office after we moved the brooder box to the garage. A thick layer of dust, almost like drywall dust, covered everything. Don't say I didn't warn you.

1 comment:

  1. I will vouch for the dust. The coop comes this week and I CAN'T WAIT to get them outside!