helperWhat a sight.  The first batch of chickens out on pasture.  These guys are almost grown, but they’ll spend the last week or two weeks on the fresh, green grass.  Jim loved standing outside to watch them, though he wasn’t too sure about the grass on his bare feet. 

tractor buildersMark and the boys have been working hard to increase the chicken tractor fleet this spring.  Mark built a “jig” that the boys can set the lumber in, measure and cut a few pieces, then glue and screw panels together.  They actually make kits, which they later put together into  a full tractor.  It’s been a good carpentry project for Joe, Sam, and their buddy Josiah.  If someone wanted a kit, the boys could actually put one together in the dimensions desired all by themselves.

tractor lineupThere are a total of 14 tractors nearly ready to go.  Mark made some improvements to make them more user friendly and better for the chickens (more shade, feed under cover, and so on).  He plans to have them all plumbed so that they will have continuous clean, fresh water by the summer’s end, as opposed to the 5 gallons twice a day method.  By the end of the day today the clearspan should be cleaned out and we’ll have two tractors full of chickens, with plenty in the brooder ready to go out in the next couple of weeks.

chick helploadersChicks are a family project, from start to finish.  Even the cousins, Ella and Camden, got roped into helping load chicks into temporary brooders we had to set up in the house.  They enjoyed getting to hold the fuzzy little guys and to watch them run around on the floor.  Jim is fascinated with the little cheepers.  He enjoyed feeding them one handful of food at a time one morning.  The brooders in the house were a guaranteed way to distract him, too.

Ah, spring is really here–the birds are out.