The Community Chickens project is about to begin! Mother Earth News and our sister publication, Grit, are working together to test and tell you about all sorts of things related to poultry. Over the next few months, we’ll write about incubators, a brooder, feeders and waterers, fencing and feed.
We plan to hatch chicken, duck, guinea and turkey eggs, and we’ll share our experiences raising the babies. As always, we’ll provide information on alternative and time-tested methods. (See Furry and Feathered Friends Welcome on Grit’s website for photos of a broody hen and the chicks she hatched.)
While we’re waiting for the hatching eggs to arrive, I’ve set up the poultry box brooder from GQF Manufacturing. (I still need to install the light bulbs and remove some of the protective plastic from shipping.) It’s important to be ready for chicks when they arrive.
PHOTO BY TROY GRIEPENTROG
I’m looking forward to trying out the brooder. It should be easy to clean and make taking care of the new chicks easy. In the past, I’ve used various types of homemade brooders, including cardboard boxes with a small board across the top to suspend a heat lamp from. That works for a few birds for a short time, but it’s important to make sure the cardboard doesn’t get too warm and create a fire hazard.
A new website for the Community Chickens project will be live early next week. That site will give you easy access to all the information about the project, plus great tips on raising poultry. Check back for a link to that site.