Our chicks spend the
first month of their lives in paradise. We set up their outdoor
brooder somewhere with plenty of cover and enough sun for the time
of year (full sun in early spring, morning sun in late spring, full
shade in summer), then open the door each morning and let them wander
free. Until they get big enough to find the vegetable garden and
start scratching up the mulch, our miniature chickens get to eat bugs,
chickweed, and whatever else they can find all day every day.
This spring, we have
most of the back garden in a rye cover crop to grow organic matter, so
the lower end of the back garden seemed like the perfect spot for late
spring chick habitat. Tall plants like rye (or raspberries) make
chicks feel very safe, so they spend more time pecking and less time
Here’s a shot of the
brooder from the other direction so you get an idea of what our chicks’
current habitat looks like. The window side of the brooder faces
east so the chicks warm up quickly on chilly mornings, but then they
get shade during warm afternoons. In contrast, the early
spring chicks had
their brooder window facing due south. Since the door opens in a
different direction now than it did then, we were able to move the
brooder only about 15 feet down the slope and still give this set of
chicks plenty of space to graze where the last set seldom wandered.
And this picture sums up
the true theme of this post — gratuitous chick photos. They
won’t be this cute for long, though, so don’t worry — I’ll post
something more substantial soon.
our chicks hydrated.