Monday, May 16, 2016

The Thing About Meat Birds

The thing about meat birds is they eat, and drink, and poop…and that’s all they do.  The meaties and the layers are now eight weeks old, and if not for the cold nights last week, they would have been out of my basement sooner than Saturday!  Except that we hadn’t built the new tractor and my sister had the old one.

The meat birds were double the size of the little layers, eating everything, spilling the water twice a day, and pooping in the feeder.  The poor layers weren't getting the feed they needed, and I realized that too late. But they had to go out to the coop with the other layers.  My house smelled like a dirty chicken coop and I just couldn't handle it anymore.

This year, I employed some tricks from Pinterest with these meaties, though.  I bought extra chicken wire and we repurposed the old deck canopy into a lightweight tractor. It's a 10 foot square that you can actually stand up inside (once you duck really low to get through the door).  We had also picked up a couple of camo tarps to cover it.

In the past, I’ve had to fill the waterer a couple times a day and they never seemed to have enough food.  I picked up a fount waterer that is suppose to attach to the spigot on a rain barrel, thus creating a near never-ending supply of water for them...except that it didn't fit the standard spigot and I had to go look for a reducer hose.  Big surprise, I didn't find one!  I thought about changing out the spigot, until I saw that it was epoxied in place. I said the heck with it and had Nick put the big 5 gallon waterer in there.  It'll work for the time being until I find that damn hose!


I also picked up a big, plastic garbage can and PVC elbows and couplers to create a gigantic feeder. The idea was to fit the elbow inside with a PVC coupler on the outside, so the birds could stick their heads through and feed...only Nick convinced me that the elbows were too long and the birds would never get their head through it.  "The feeder will be fine with just the couplers," he said.  Um, nope!  I dumped a bag in and WHOOSH! it all came pouring out the couplers (insert forehead slap here - Nick's forehead, not my own).  By then, I was hot, tired, and getting annoyed, so I said, "Forget it - they can eat it off the ground!  I just want them out!' And out they came! Nasty, stinkin' birds!

They're happy little buggers now, though. They have grass, sunshine, the layers who like to circle the pen and check them out, and they have 120 square feet to run around!

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