Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

Explore the blog, Then Check out our website
Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, May 30, 2014

Farm Happenings

Here on the farm it seems the work is never done.  When we finish a large project we always think, now let's not start any new projects for awhile, well that thought never last very long before we dive head first into the next one.  Our projects often entail trying to make our farm operate easier to get each daily task finished quicker and a little more automated.  There are only so many things that you can automate on a chicken farm though.
Our biggest project so far this spring has been trying to make our pullet shed as automate as possible.  We purchased and moved this shed to the farm last fall.  It set empty all winter and now we're beginning to put it to use.  The shed is used to house young pullets until they are shipped out.  Each Saturday I catch up orders and pen up the birds together for each order.
Then on Monday mornings I can just put the birds in the box and ship them off.  It's really not as easy as that but that's the short version.

Before we got the shed it was used as a dog kennel, so it came with several cages down one side.  Larry has since installed quail cages down the left side of the shed.  They are the perfect size for small pullets.  Really the dog cages are to big, they allow the pullets to much room and they climb and walk on each other which pulls the feathers off of their backs.  So I see another project of revamp the dog cages...
Under each cage there are slanted trays that catch the droppings, each day you can rinse this off.  We still need to install a styptic system for this to rinse into.
Running through each pen is PVC pipe with a hole cut in the top.  Water is circulated through the pipe from a tub with a goldfish pond pump and the water is changed each day.
The young Jubilee orpington rooster  to your left is penned up to grow out his beautiful tail so he can be shipped off to his new home looking handsome as ever.
The pullet shed is working out very well it makes shipping out pullets easier and gives us a place to get birds looking nice before they leave the farm.

Here at Chicken Scratch Poultry we have two part time employees.  The young lady to your right is my daughter Heather, we call her the inoculater.  She has many jobs here on the farm but she is the only one who vaccinates the birds.  All chicks left over after orders are filled each week receive the Marek's vaccine. You can also pay to have your chicks vaccinated before shipment.  It's a good idea to vaccinate chicks for Marek's and it has to be done the first three days of life.

It looks painful but by the time they are back in the box they have forgotten all about it.  The needle is very tiny and it happens very quick. She holds them by the scruff of the neck, insert the needle into the flap of skin, pull the trigger and that's it.

This is my niece Melissa, she is my right hand blogger, I can't really call her an employee sense it is not a paid position.  She is a great help to me and she always has something great to share on the blog.

The young man to your right is Lane, he's worked on the farm now for about two years and is such a great help!  I don't know what we would do without him.  He has several jobs.   Feeding, watering, strawing the laying boxes, scooping out pens and changing out poopie papers under the brooders.  I told Lane a few days ago I would see if I can get him on the show Dirtiest Jobs.  He really does have a sticken, dirty, hot job and we never hear him complain.  Maybe he complains to the chickens.
If you ever happen to look on Facebook at the Chicken Scratch Poultry employees, you will see about eight people who claim to be employees at Chicken Scratch Poultry.  I'd like to know where these employees were this past winter when the water system froze in the barn and I needed their help.  Or when it's 110 degrees out side and all the birds need a fan.  I guess on Facebook you can claim to be anyone and work anywhere.
The people pictured here on this blog are the only true employees we have on the farm and they do a great job!  I'd like to says thanks to Lane, Heather and Melissa, without you the farm would not run nearly so smooth.
Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Try keeping up to 45,000 chickens cool then in summer! Its' not easy!