After some thought, Mark
and I decided to just stick to last year’s method of moving the first
set of month-old
chicks to their
designated rotational pasture system. While I wouldn’t have
minded having them scratch around our kitchen peach, I wasn’t really
confident the tractor provided enough shelter for youngsters who aren’t
quite fully feathered. Chicken health generally trumps everything
else in our book, so to the coop they went.
Due to low
viability of our first set of eggs, we only had seventeen
chicks. I’ve found the easiest way to transfer older chicks from
spot to spot is for each of us to stick a chick under each arm and
carry them there. All was going well (four trips = sixteen
chicks) when I left the last chick alone in the topless brood
coop. You wouldn’t think a chick could fly out the top, but
chickens (especially youngsters) hate to be alone. The last
leghorn was so terrified of being left behind that she fled the coop
and ended up hiding under the back porch.
Luckily, chicken biology
is pretty basic. Since her friends were out of sight, safety for
our escaped chick meant the brood coop. I popped the lid back on,
propped the door open, walked ten feet away, and she scurried
inside. Shut the door, take off the lid, and a minute later I was
carrying the last chick over to the coop. They’ll stay shut up
for a day or so to turn this new coop into home, then will be out
exploring spring pasture.
upgraded the flock to a five-gallon bucket waterer (easy to make with
one of our 3 pack
DIY kits) so
caretaking time will be even less.