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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Show Prep Week

Last week was a crazy whirlwind.  On some days/nights it was truly very windy.  

As last week was coming to a close we were preparing for the livestock show on Friday.  The chickens, who are now no longer chicks by any stretch of the imagination.  But you can relive their growth spurt here.

The Ag agent came out to the house about three or four weeks ago, he shared how to tell the difference between roosters and hens, that we should plan on taking hens to the show and that they should all be very close in weight because consistency was one of the things that the judges would be judging.  Got it.

What is the best way to select three chickens that all weigh about the same?  Naturally, you have to weigh them all; don't over think this process.

On Wednesday that is exactly what we set about doing.  First, you have to sort out all the hens from the roosters.  We technically should have done that about two weeks ago, but practicality being what it is, we didn't have enough of everything to make it all work.

J was ready to get started.

Then came the weigh station.

and checking their numerical tag

then writing it all down.  I didn't snap a picture of that; y'all are all smart people.

We found that there were two that were the same weight and one that weighed an extra ounce.  They weighed 6lb 13oz.  For a chicken that started out so small, truly amazing.  One weighed in at just over 7lbs and then there was a puny one that weighed a mere 5 lbs.

We would want to keep #26, #36 and #50 separate so that when we got home on Thursday night we would be able to easily sort them for the next phase of show prep.

How would we keep these three chickens separated when it was supposed to freeze that night, or get very close to freezing.  We still had the problem of not having enough heat lamps for two spaces.  So we headed over to our scrap yard of extra metal pieces, looking for inspiration.
I'm sure you wish you had as good of a looking pile as we do.  Keep trying, you'll get there, just keep throwing unwanted items in one place and let the grass grow over them for a couple of summers.  

No solution was found there.  No doubt my standing at the scrap pile inspired L to figure out a better option, especially after I did come up with some 'construction' ideas which must be why he came up with an easier solution.  I did manage to work in, "Hey, I'm just problem solving here.  You're a man.  You're supposed to like that."

This solution lasted all of about one minute before two of them figured out that they could get out of the trough that once was their whole world.  I guess chicks and babies outgrow their cribs.  I'm not going to name any names, or numbers, on who wasn't smart enough to get out on her own.

We tried a few other ideas of blocking them in alas, we gave up and decided that we'd just have to sort them out again on Thursday night when we got home.  Even though it would be dark.  And cold.  And maybe snowing.  Ok, just kidding on the snowing part.

More coming tomorrow....

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