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.