Chick update

Gangly teenaged chicks

This cold turn in the weather has kept the chicks in their temporary coop. I had been releasing them into the chicken run with the big girls during the day and then returning them to their own warm spot for the night. Now, they’re in there 24/7 with brooder lights blazing. I worry they’ll get bored.

It is fairly amazing how quickly these little birds become big birds. Miss a week and you’ll say holy cow. Now, the biggest of them perch at night as opposed to huddling in a chickpile. They’re very adept at chicken things already, like scratching and finding bugs and green bits.

I’ve read that you should separate the new birds from the old because chickens are beasts with a sense of hierarchy. Frankly, I have not seen much aggression from my older girls. The chicken run is a large one, though, and they’re separated at night, so I am sure the big girls are just accepting the little ones as a concession of some sort.

The evening before the temperatures fell, I let the three big chickens out of the run. I stood with them (not trusting that red-tailed hawk nor the girls’ love of my perennial beds) the whole time. Time just flies by when you watch them. Bloody Beatrice was picking up worms at every step (step-bob-peck-pull-slurp, step-bob-peck-pull-slurp) and the other two were dethatching Mont Merde (our septic hill). And me, sick as I was, just stood there. It was really fun. Then I called them and they followed me back into the coop. A good evening on the farm.

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4 responses to “Chick update

  1. We didn’t notice any of those aggression problems either. I think it’s like you said – as long as there’s plenty of room they’re ok. Also I think the fact that each group is big enough to be its own flock might have something to do with it too.

    When we had two groups like that, one developed a later bedtime than the other. It never changed throughout the lives of the chickens… ones in the second group always stayed out later, even after the flocks merged.

  2. They do look a bit like teenagers, don’t they? Thanks for the advice on hand-feeding our new chicks. They are so sweet, it’s hard to stay away from them. Now we have three age groups, having got 15 or so 3-week-old meat chicks from some friends. Husband separated the coop so they can get used to one another in stages. Like cats, I guess. We’ll see how it works. Hope you’re feeling better. It sucks to be sick, even more when it’s cold like this.

  3. Mont Merde??? LOL!!!

    Sure hope you’re feeling better! How fun to see your chicken pics 🙂

  4. Rurality, I have learned a lot, chicken-wise or otherwise, from your site. I can completely see the “keep with your flock” mentality kicking in with these two sets. Except for the barred rock; she’s a bit independent.

    Jo you’ve got instafarm! I am really curious how your peafowl do. There are wild ones (just escapees) around here and their calls are just unworldly.

    And yes, Robbyn: Mont Merde is what you call a $7500 pile of dirt! Anything less wouldn’t do (doo-doo).

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