Chickens Part 4

It is, officially, moving day! This is one of my favorite days in raising chickens. The chicks are finally old enough to move outside and get acquainted with the laying hens! In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about this step because we would have a rooster and the hen would be raising them from egg. But, since we are city dwellers at this point in our life, we have to get creative and make a few adjustments to our life. As you can see, the first step in moving day, is to collect all the chicks.

We then travel outside with the chicks and place the box in the coop with the adult layers.

Everyone is very curious of all the changes. We do not just dump the chicks out of the box. We allow some time for the hens and the chicks to see, hear and smell each other. This is a big change for BOTH the layers and the chicks.

After the chickens have gotten used to each other and kind of lost interest in each other, we then, gently, place the box on its side and allow the chicks to come out when they are ready.

We put some feed at the opening of the box to entice the chicks out and so the hens can get used to the chicks eating with them. We usually stay in the coop for a big part of feeding time during the first week or so. Mostly so we know that the chicks are getting enough time to eat and the hens aren’t being too rough with establishing the “pecking order”.

In no time at all, there are more and more brave chicks running around the coop.

Because of getting the chicks later in the year, we went ahead and placed a heat lamp out side for them. Just while they are still small and since it is so cool in the evenings. Normally, when we purchase chicks in the spring, this is not a step we typically do.

I also didn’t get a very good picture of the chicks this week to compare their size.  They are pretty fast to catch at this stage and we are doing our best to not step on them when it is feeding time. Next week I should be able to get a pretty good picture. The meat chickens will really start growing and then they will be pretty slow.

That is all I have this week on the chicken update. It has been pretty busy around the homestead this past week. Lots of exciting things coming up!

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