Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PPPP Report Week 5

Back on schedule, happy Wednesday.  Welcome to the Promised Pastured Peeper Progress Report, week 5.

Week 4 concluded uneventfully.  No losses, everyone happy and growing.  Still no crowing... but I expect that will begin soon.

Feed bag #4 was opened last Friday, and I suspect #5 will be before the week is out.  Water is becoming a bit of an issue, though not a bad one.  Filling a gallon sized waterer 3 times a day is no hardship when you're already outside doing chores but it would definitely be better if we had a larger one.  Additional innovation may be forthcoming.  (continued)

The number of fights, attempted escapes, and general hubbub from the paddock decreases significantly with the application of new real estate (I think it's really all the fresh food). The pictures today were taken within seconds of the move and everyone was really quite happy.  We haven't been moving them every day, more like every other, but even with a bunch of heavy rain trying to keep things clean waiting more than a single day before moving right now is pushing our luck.  

Lately the night time temperatures have been in the mid 50s which birds this age should be ok with but once you factor in the not inconsiderable amount of potential dew, the recently frequent rains, and the number of dry days that have managed to become wet evenings we've elected to continue using the heat lamp overnight.  A little wet or a little cold wouldn't be too bad, but a little wet and a little cold is really an unnecessary risk at this stage.  So the light stays on, the birds stay warm, and the power company earns a bit more of their monthly bill.  Since the birds are so much larger now most of them won't fit under the lamp at the same time anyway, so it's really more of a refuge so that any one who does get chilled or wet can push their way in if needed.

The size comparison today may seem less pronounced without the separate side by side photos but I assure you the striking differences are still evident.  The "little" layer is still little, the "godzilla" turkey is still huge, and all the broilers are at the stage where there is a lot more "waddle" to their walk than grace.  I don't mind that they waddle since they have all that mass to carry and those large boned feet it's probably an inevitable turn of events anyway.  For a little while their more ponderous stature will result in a bit less running around and an increased number of naps but they are still quite active compared to industry birds.  Additionally, where industry birds would begin their slow decline into sedentary and depressed behavior around now and never recover before processing day the Red Rangers will perk back up and increase their activity once they've progressed passed the awkward, and often ugly, adolescent phase.

I've alluded previously to just how much action occurs in the paddock, and how these birds are all quite active and often quite entertaining to observe as they interact.  As the summer stretches on the number of crickets, grasshoppers, and other large insects around the homestead increases also.  Since such tidbits are not hard to catch and most chores bring such bugs up close and personal it's a fairly frequent occurrence each day to grab one (or several) just to watch the shenanigans which ensue from  dropping a single "treat" into a paddock with 82 predatory, ravenous, bloodthirsty, baby birds.  So I gave them a treat, so I could give you a treat.  I hope you enjoy, as I wrap up with this short video.

Thanks for stopping by.

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