When I got home last night Cindy and I headed out to the chicken tractor to try to make further modifications to make bed time for the baby birds less problematic. We took one of the under counter LED lights that I normally use on my 3D printers and mounted it to the inside of the coop. We also used one of our Wemo smart switches to control it so the light could go on and off on a schedule and be controlled remotely. Our thinking was once it is dark outside, having the light up top would encourage the birds to go up the ramp and go to bed.
The install went pretty well and the light lit up the coop well, maybe a little too well. So after we were done we returned inside with the plan to come out once it got dark to check on the chicks. We came out to see the birds all still hanging out down below, having a grand old time. The light not only lit up the coop brightly but also lit up the area below it, giving the birds adequate light to just keep hanging out. We again tried to coach them up top but it was unsuccessful. Instead we once again wound up doing the same snatch and grab we have had to do since Friday. This time I was the one grabbing the birds and handing them off to Cindy.
So once we got them up top and inside we turned off the new light. We immediately hear a commotion, they are freaking out. Usually once the lights go out chickens settle down, for whatever reason these hens have not adopted this behavior, instead they panic. We check the camera inside and see the birds are all crowded beside it. I told Cindy I think we are better off pulling the camera out of there. The red ring of infrared leds on the camera must be what was making them come that way. I said I think we are better off just pulling it out which we did.
When we turned the light off a second time they were carrying on again but when I went back out later to check on them they were quiet. I am not sure how we will train them to go up there at night. The odd thing is during the day some of them will go up on their own just to hang out. It’s going to be a long month or two if we have to manually put the birds to bed every night.
Last night I also tended to the 3D printer that I had been working on. In an attempt to fix the original blob of plastic that encased the hot end I hit it with a heat gun on high for a prolonged period of time. The end result of that was the blob still remained but I partially melted one of the fans that is in the same area. I received a new fan yesterday and installed it. To make it work I had to splice/solder it in to the old wiring connector.
I hate soldering now more than ever. I was never good at it but now it’s even more frustrating because my eyes don’t want to focus on something that small. I trudged through the process and eventually managed to get it all working again. I shot video of the entire ordeal. Editing the footage is going to be a challenge since there were so many mistakes I made along the way.
Oh I saw yesterday that the kick that Parkey missed at the end of the Eagles game was actually tipped by an Eagles defender. On replay you can see the ball grazed the finger of one of the lineman on the side which would have sent kick left. At least that should make Parkey feel a little bit better but it surely won’t save his job.