Thursday, June 16, 2016

Adolescent Chicks

With so many other fun adventures, I have neglected updates regarding our chick raising expedition.

Not much had changed - other than the size of the chicks - for several weeks.

We had made our second brooder to help give them more space and......
                        they grew.

The plan was then to move them to our small chicken coop that we use as a 'broody box'.  Such a box is for hens that get 'protective' of the eggs in the nest box.  They start sitting on all the eggs, acting like they are going to hatch said eggs.  (Which can't happen since we have no rooster, but... the hens sometimes forget that minor point and still want babies of their very own.  I guess you could say once in a while their 'maternal clocks start ticking.')

Anyway, back to my point.

We had planned to put the chicks out into this mini-coop next to the larger run since they were growing by leaps and bounds to a) give them more space and b) allow them and the older hens to get acclimated to their new coop mates.

This plan kept getting postponed due to cold, cold temperatures and the occasional snowfall.

These chicks were very crowded.

They NEEDED to go into the bigger space.

But.... the weather kept waylaying our efforts.

Finally, the forecast showed no snow in the foreseeable future.  The nighttime temps were staying mostly above freezing.

I decided it was time to take the plunge.

All the 'baby chicks' in their new 'teenage' pad.

I altered the mini-coop as it had sustained some damage from wind knocking it over last fall.  Additionally I added a hook inside on the ceiling in order to hang a heat lamp that we could turn on at night to help them stay warmer - if the temps dipped too low - as they often do.

They look like 'regular grown' chickens,
just a slight bit smaller

We'd been allowing them to have some 'outdoor time' during the warmer days in prior weeks.  However, we would always bring them in at night due to the fact I hadn't yet fixed the enclosure area of the small coop that would allow them shelter and protection from the elements and predators.

Not to mention the below freezing temps we were still still experiencing here and there.
They are very curious whenever we come close.

Now that it was all shored up and the ramp was in place..... I felt it was high time for the teenage chickens to move to their new home and spend EVEN nights outside.

They enjoyed the dirt, grass, and extra space being outside in the small coop allotted them.

The older hens were quite interested in their new neighbors.

I'm glad they are comfortable in the
Silver Fox and Gold Fox (I think.)
I know it's Silver Fox, not so sure on the other.
They happily hop and climb on the ramp.

The first night we had to scoop them up and put them inside the enclosed section as they didn't realize THAT was the 'place to be' to sleep.  The second night only 1 bird needed to be placed in the box.

Guess they are learning.

Look at those huge feet.
I think she's giving me the 'stink eye'.

It's nice to have them OUT of the house and I think they are enjoying the more 'natural' habitat of soil and turf under their not-so-little feet.

I still can't get over how quickly they grew and how much they changed in just a few short months.

The next task will be building their more permanent coop and run and integrating the two flocks together.

Then, come fall.... more eggs!

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