Sunday, July 26, 2009

Progress

We made progress on the coop this week, but in the meantime the girls have graduated up to the big girls brooder. It is a 2' x 3' cage with high sides and roosts. It sits on a table and we layered the bottom with paper and then shavings. It is very amusing to watch the girls dust bathe in the fresh shavings each time we change them.

It is amazing how much they have grown. They will be three weeks old on Tuesday and they are getting huge. It was hard to gauge how huge, until we transported them down to the tractor in the box we originally brought them home in. The day we brought them home they fit in this tiny 8" x 10" box with lots of room to spare. Now we can barely get four of them to fit in the same box, and they can look over the sides of the box with ease.

The chicks are very treat orientated. If we walk to the door of their cage they all cluster over to see what we brought them. They will peck at anything that pokes through the wire, even if it is a fingertip or a cat's nose. The cats aren't impressed but I find it incredibly amusing to watch the chicks do that. Hopefully, this will teach the cats that these are not treats with feathers, should one of the curious girls manage to make it out of the cage during feedings, water changes, or shaving changes.

On the garden front we tested something we had heard and found it to be very true. We have read on several gardening forums that stale urine, mixed 1:10, with water is a great source of nitrogen and makes a good fertilizer for gardens. We tested this out in patches, using the mixture on one row or pot of each of our plants. The results were amazing. One week later, the plants watered with the water/ urine mix are double and in some cases triple the size of the plants not watered with the mix. This is great news and will make fertilizing the garden that much more organic because contrary to what you might think, urine is sterile unless you are ill and is in a form the plants use naturally.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

now I'd like to know who the first person to try the urine thing was, and why it sounded like a good idea.
-e.

Dee said...

LOL. I suspect it was an accidental find when someone just couldn't make it to the outhouse, or didn't bother.

PeterC said...

An interesting link here for where we got the idea.
Free nitrogen comes with handy dispensor

Just remember that if you take drugs or are sick, you aren't allowed to pee on your food.

On a different tact, much of early science/chemistry was the effort of getting the "life force" out of bodily excretions, particularly urine. Don't think they didn't notice that nitrogen compounds can go boom.