Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Moving Day

In the last post I mentioned that our chicken coop was "almost" finished.  That has been the eternal refrain since...oh, about last November.  (Before that the plans for the chicken coop were almost finished.)  There has always just been one or two supposedly little things that need to be finished - cutting the holes for the door and the nesting box, building the door, painting it, roofing it, building the yard, putting the yard together, etc, etc.  The chicks have been out in it a few times for a few hours, but today - today they moved in!

The nearly completed chicken yard (note the clamps in the foreground, holding it together).

They are sooo happy to be outside.  Recently they are just so large that they have been tipping their water dispenser over regularly, which wets the bedding in the brooder.  Then the chick feed in the bedding starts to ferment and smell awful, not to mention that they are even more crowded because no one wants to stand in the wet spot and now they have no water to drink...they have just outgrown the brooder.

Two Buff Orpington chicks, 4 weeks old

The coop is 2'x4', and the yard is 4'x8', which already seems almost too small for this many chickens.  The broiler chicks already look like chickens and kind of feel like a chicken when I lift them up.  They are truly a modern scientific marvel.  They are particularly happy to be outside because they were having a really hard time moving between the two sections of the brooder (I cut the hole too small) and outside they have little logs to roost on, whereas inside they were too big to get up on the only thing in the brooder to roost on - the heater.  When I was researching the chicks I read that you didn't need to bother putting in something for broilers to roost on because they won't be able to get up on to it, but I can tell they really like being able to climb up on the logs and take a little nap.  

These chickens probably run/walk/fly about 10 miles/day just in this little 4x8 space.

I'll try to post more details and pictures of the coop soon.

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