Friday, July 18, 2014

The Big Move

I finished cleaning out the winter mess in the coop last week.  The chicks were fully feathered and the weather was warm, so I unplugged their heat lamp.

Yesterday I took two buckets of weeds into the coop to spread in the clean stalls (they'll dry out like hay in there, reduce my need for wood shavings, and provide some winter scratch).  I chatted with the chicks while I was working.  They're a bit skittish.

I had my back turned when a great ruckus broke out, and couldn't believe my eyes when I looked to see what all the fuss was about.  It was the tiniest cockfight I'd ever seen.  Two solid white roos were going at it viciously, practically locked together by beak, wings beating, chests puffed out- wow.

Okay, chicks- it's time to move out into the big wide world.  I put five chicks in one five gallon pail and four in the other and walked them over to the turkey pen. 
I watched as the bravest peaked out of the buckets to quickly get pecked by this mean old barred rock.

Then I remembered I had repairs to do to the chick corner of the turkey shack, so I shooed all of the older birds out and closed the door.
4 solid white, one with a mix of black around the neck and tail.
 The chicks all came out of hiding and started checking out their new habitat.  They seemed to approve.
Two more solid white, one with some red.

#4 and I fixed up the chick corner with some braces and new wire, and got the little ones situated.

Not quite five weeks old and they don't fit through the wire.  That's never happened before.  Usually I spend the first few weeks chasing new chicks out of the garden.  I had to adjust the trap door on the side so these chicks could slip underneath it.  They're quite large little chicks.  Heck- they're bigger than the turkeys are when I move them outside.
The trap door- just a hole in the wire, with another piece of wire to cover most of it.

Then we let the older birds back in to greet the chicks- and get ready for bed.  One of the chicks got brave and came out of the corner, but all of the older birds were mean.  Mean, mean, mean.  He ran back to hide.  Today we'll see if they get brave enough to go OUTSIDE!

7 solid white chicks.  I'm thinking the chanteclers and my meat hens may have been the only ones in with roosters.  I might have 7 chantecler chicks!


  1. Your five-week-old chicks are about the size of my 12-week-old chicks. That itty-bitty cockfight must have been a sight. It is so hateful of my two mean hens to peck the little ones. Mean is right.

    I always throw weeds and newly cut grass in their pen. They manage to find bugs in there. Plus, the dirt on roots must have bugs of some kind since the go crazy over the pulled weeds.

    I made a safe place for my chicks when I put them in with the hens, but I don't think they ever used it. Once, the chicks came to stand on my feet and between my legs for safety. It worked!

  2. I had to wait until mine could not fit through the chain link fence of the chicken pen. They still tried. The older hens even tried to get back in to get the little ones.

    1. Thanks Linda. Yes, introducing little ones to the flock is always a challenge. I feel bad now, but truthfully, these little ones will be just as mean when I introduce the next batch.