The chicks in the bathroom have been escaping their cardboard homes. It's a bit startling to open the door or step out of the shower and have a curious little animal standing before you with it's head tilted wondering what the heck you're doing. And then poop all over the floor. I have decided that December is not a great month to buy chicks.
With the goats back with their momma's for a few weeks we have a free stall to brood the baby birds. We have to keep them away from Coco until he's dispatched. He doesn't seem to like intruders in his domain. We modified the gate with chicken wire and hung heat lamps from a pvc pole. The temps are beginning to dip again after a moderate week last week. I'm worried about them out there but free ranging in the bathtub isn't ideal either.
They seemed to do well last night, only the biggest, most feathered birds went out. The five Americaunas are still in a box in the bathroom but they're still so little escape isn't really an option right now. The Red Broilers are supposed to get near up to six pounds by sixty three days.
Coco still hasn't been slaughtered. I think we're both still working up the nerve. Neither of us has taken a life before and we've only been chicken farmers since August. Plus, Coco scares us. He stomps around the yard, stalking and making noises. He rushed me yesterday and I kicked a bucket at him (which didn't hit and didn't phase his attack) and then threw a gate to get away. He's much smaller than me but commands much feared respect. I'm refusing to defrost the chicken in the freezer until we do it though. Just seems wrong, somehow. But I think his dictatorship is causing stress in the girls which is why we haven't seen a single egg yet. We have bought a small piece of sheet metal to make a kill cone from and we've been researching techniques online. We're working up, just a bit slowly. (on a side note, if anyone lives near or around Gainesville and wants to come show us how to do this, we'd be much obliged.)
Yesterday, my neighbor's dog broke out and came for a visit, when I brought him back I asked if anyone in the area had a plow and might want to help me dig up some ground for a garden. I came back home with two names and a little hope. The first neighbor's tractor wasn't working good so I asked the second and I'm still waiting for the wife to ask the husband and get back to me. A plow would save me a lot of work, the grass here is stubborn and thick and while I'd get a great work out pulling it up by hand, I wouldn't have the engery after to actually plant anything. But the seeds are waiting.