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After I retired I wanted to stay busy on our farm. My almost 30 year career was in the hunting & fishing industry, so raising the birds I had hunted for years was a natural for me. Being married to my best friend, wife & help mate is all I could ask for. My wife of 34 years and I love living on our farm and doing the chores it takes to maintain it. We are living a wonderful slow life in our retirement. Our grand daughter is such joy. Having a big garden to feed us, raising bees for honey, loving our pets and no debt. I feel blessed to have enjoyed this country living and sustaining our family through growing our food and simple ways my whole life. I am happy to see others across this great country deciding to live instead of just collecting more. A less-stress farm life is making us very happy. *******************************************************

Friday, December 18, 2009

1,000 Babies, Now What!!

It is late June and eggs have now spent 20 days turning in the incubator, so I stopped turning them and placed them in the brooder cabinet. Raised the humidity to 70% and left temp at 95 degrees. 3 days later I have a little over 1,000 baby bobwhite quail. Am well pleased because I had almost 80% hatch rate. So now its time to put in the brooders. While I waited for this hatch I had to get more brooder space. I decided to purchase 5 GQF gamebirds brooders. I am really looking forward to using these. I believe they will make it a lot easier than the cages I had built earlier and the 5 cages will hold about 600 bobwhite chicks. (pic above). So I filled these up with chicks and put the other 400+ in the wood & wire cages with the 250 watt red bulb heat lamps. I am getting more factory brooders, it takes a LOT less space to brood the chicks. After 4 weeks went by I was amazed at how much better I did with the GQF brooders. I lost hardly any chicks compared to the homemade brooders where they would 'pile up' some. With the outside of cage feeders and waterers it was so very easy. Since I am handicapped this made the job very doable. I now believe I can do this. I now took the brooders to my pre-flypen barn (My wife and son really did)released them from the door on the brooder, where the birds will stay inside on the ground but still under some heat for 4 more weeks. I have set up the automatic bell type waterers connected to a 50 gallon plastic barrel outside the barn that catches rainwater runoff. really works great. For food I use big 30# feeders that last a few days so I dont disturb the birds. Dont want them getting used to human contact so they will be wilder for hunting. After 4 weeks (8 weeks total) I am opening the release door in back of barn and turning in to my 100' flypen. (which I am having built while they are in the barn)

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