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Chicks First Camp-Out


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Well, we finally finished the coop and got the girls outside last night. And not a moment too soon!

Despite our (admittedly lame) attempts to build a makeshift barrier fence, Anges, Abigail and Winnifred kept busting out of the brooder space and running around the three season porch unsupervised. I don't think the carpet could have survived another night. It looked like the chicken-pocolypse in there! (Note to self: Next time we get chicks, our brooding area will have much higher walls, or a CEILING.)

Anywhoo, the chicks were THRILLED to be on grass for the first time yesterday. Pecking and scratching and running around like crazy birds! Their new run is protected by 1/2 in welded wire hardware cloth on all sides, so no critters can break through. So they could flap and play to their heart's content. I wish we humans could learn to take such joy from simple things. At dusk, they were unsure where to sleep. So we rounded them up and placed them in the coop one by one.*

Here's a video of their first morning coming out into the world. They were a little wary of the airplane flying overhead, but other than that, they did just fine!

*HINDSIGHT FOOTNOTE: After four days of rounding up chicks at dusk, including one very soggy night of catching them in the pouring rain, we did some research. We tried adding more "rungs" to their ramp. Nope. We tried temping them with treats. No go. Finally Karl found a Youtube video that shed some light. Literally. As it turns out, chickens don't like to enter dark spaces when they can't see what's inside. On night 5, we added an LED bulb on a timer, set to go on just before dusk and off an hour later. Worked like a charm!


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