Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brooder update

I wrote about a brooder that I built, but didn't include any pictures of the full setup. so here it is. The brooder has 4" of wood chips on top of it to act as cheap insulation. There's 500 chicks in there, most of them are under the brooder itself. You can see a few on the left edge, and a couple of yellow chicks on the edge facing us.

Here's the other side of the brooder. The chicks are pretty skittish, so they're running around the edge of the pen as I move around to take photos. I've lifted the brooder a couple of times, and propped it on a 5 gallon bucket so I could look underneath for dead chicks. Most of the chicks are doing well.

I lost 36 chicks of this shipment of 500, 28 of them were dead in the box or within an hour of delivery. The mortality is mostly caused by Murray McMurrays' shipping date. They ship on Saturdays night, so the chicks arrive in Seattle on Sunday morning, and then sit in an unheated warehouse for the next 36 hours. I've marked on the box "hold at distribution center and call 206-940-4980" and they've done that a couple of times, which means I get the chicks Sunday morning and there's virtually no mortality, but they didn't do that this time, so I didn't get the chicks until Monday afternoon. Sucks.

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