Monday, March 25, 2013

For the Birds

Watch out folks, we're getting tech geeky this morning...

Eric here to tell you how our chicks have gone high tech!  If you not into the tech stuff, just skip to the bottom for cute chick pics. 

Anyway, back to my Engineering domain.  On March 5th, I  installed a wireless temperature sensor from Colorado Sensors.  My good friend David Lee loaned it to us to try out.  According to our chosen chicken literature, chicks need to start out at a relatively balmy 95 degrees F.  From then on out, the temperature needs to be reduced by 5 degrees per week until they are fit to go to their outdoor home.  The cool thing about this sensor is that it can be checked over the Internet.  In fact, the sensor website allows sharing so that anyone can check the temperature if they so desire:  Chicken Temperature Link.  Checking their temperature is surprisingly addictive, and we do it several times a day.  The chart below shows our chicks temperature for the last 20 days.  Notice the two spikes at the beginning where the temperature when up near 100 degrees.  Well, we discovered that the chick room gets pretty warm in the morning if the heat vent is left open.  The chicks did not seems to mind too much, although Buttercup seems to be the least heat tolerant, as she pants when the temperature gets too high.

More interesting, are the two dips in the temperature.  These were from two power outages.  The sensor is wireless so it kept on recording right on through the outage.  Most of the heat for the chickens comes in the form of infrared radiation from a 250 Watt heat lamp.  So when the power was lost, the chickens went from 92 to 68 Fahrenheit in less than thirty minutes.  Fortunately I was home at the time.  I ended up boxing up the chicks, putting them in the truck and driving them over to my brother's house.

Chick temperature for 20 days

Wireless temperature sensor

Wireless gateway

March 5th.  Left to Right Chloe, Penny, Babe, Buttercup and Peep- so tiny.  Chloe might have an unhealthy obsession with the chicks.

Three weeks later.  Left to right (Penny, Peep, Buttercup, and Babe)  They love their roosting bar!
Melissa with Buttercup on March 23rd.  We think that Buttercup might be part hawk.
So,call us crazy if you want, but we are raising our chicks in the best environment possible.

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