This weekend we decided to move the 4 month old "baby" chicks from the brooding pen over to the big coop. It was time...they were getting big, and boy was it ever crowded in there! So it was time to take an afternoon to do some major work in the pens.
First, we had to collect the eggs and fill up their food and water.Then we had to clean out the big coop. I'm using "we" a little loosely here, of course...I didn't do any of it. Barry scoops the poop in the coop! I'm just here to document, photograph, and give orders. No, seriously. :)After the coop was clean and had new bedding, and the coop poop had been dumped on our garden, we began transporting the chicks one by one, over to the coop and placing them inside, showing them where the feeder is. Kendall was in charge here, and here is her method for transporting chicks: Open the door to the brooding house and wait patiently for the chick to get curious enough to come out. Then grab her...gently, of course...chickens don't like change.If the chick is too spooked and won't come out, go ahead and climb into the brooding pen, scoop her up, and give her a quick snuggle so she knows everything's gonna be A-OK.Then slowly and gently, climb back out of the brooding house carrying the spooked chick and murmuring to her the whole way that she's going to be just fine...
Turn around and smile at your camera-wielding mama and say, "See, Mama? No biggie!"Then head off to the big coop on the other side of the yard, with your little brother and your big dog following closely behind...Noah and Kendall took turns, but of course, Kendall is much more comfortable with "her" chicks, so she moved a lot faster, therefore transporting more of her babies. Noah did really well though, considering it was his first time and he really isn't very gentle by nature.
Scout sat and watched, for the most part. I wonder what was going through his head, though...maybe how good chicken might taste for a snack??
After we got all of the chicks situated in the new coop, Barry had to get our light timer all set up to start turning the light in the coop on every morning at 5:00. As the days get shorter, the chickens will stop laying if we don't supply additional hours of light. They need a certain number of "daylight" hours to produce eggs. We learned that the hard way the first year we had layers. I actually had to buy eggs at the grocery! The nerve!! :) Anyway, now that we've figured out the timer trick, we are good to go for the short days of winter.
The chicks seem to be adjusting well to their new home, and the roosters are being quite nice to them so far. Let's hope it stays that way!
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