We definitely still have room for further improvements in our rendition of Justin Rhodes design. Our wooden axle broke once right after installing and turning over to install the other wheel. We were able to hodgepodge it back together by splitting the axle. We also plan to replace our wooden axle on this chickshaw with a metal shaft for stability. This was already in the plans due to the dowel rod length we needed being unavailable. We’ve also yet to find the time to do some overdue weatherization.
Overall it’s still a vast improvement that allowed us to move the chickens in the chickshaw (and herd the geese) into last years garden to give it a much-needed weeding. I think my bees will also be quite happy not to be pestered quite so much by poultry.
Love that poultry!
Any idea what a plout is? No? I didn’t either until a couple of weeks ago. You see, we decided a while back (while our bees were being attacked) that we wanted to try raising ducklings, goslings, and turkey babies (that’s what I was calling them because I didn’t know what their actual name was). Matthew looked it up, and it turns out they are called plouts! Who knew?! Here’s some other fun turkey facts: male adults are called toms, female adults are called hens, and a group isn’t a flock: it’s a rafter. Crazy, huh?
What We Ordered
So we ordered the barnyard package from Murry McMurry (we are not affiliated) with the goslings, ducklings, and plouts. We received them when we expected, and had a descent survival rate (lost two ducklings out of 16 birds). The only downside, although not a big deal, is that it is a random assortment of breeds. To top that off, there was no packing list, so we have no idea what was actually put into the box other than it was the correct number of each type of bird. That said, the birds are happy and healthy and growing quickly, as you can see from the picture above and the picture below.
When we received the goslings, ducklings, and plouts from the post office, we brought them home and housed them in a 50 gallon tote. And it worked. But only for a short time. You see, these fowl grow very quickly. More than that, they stink! Have you ever heard anyone say that ducklings are messy? They were right! Now that we’ve had them we definitely recommend an outside brooder. You still have to make sure they have a light, are protected from the elements (and predators), and have access to clean food and water. Thankfully, it is warm here this time of year, so we did not have too many worries about the warmth.
Also of note, the ducklings get everything wet. And I do mean everything. The poor plouts were even getting wet because the ducks were getting water everywhere! The plouts are doing better now in there larger space where they can get away from the ducks mess. Also another good reason to have them in an outdoor brooder. Ours is about 4′ by 4′, and it seems to be working well. 🙂