Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chickens: Growing Up and Getting Feisty!

They started by hopping up on the edges of their corral. And then sometimes hopping out.
Then we left the house for about a half a day and came home late one night to THIS... Looks like our chickens had a little hen fest while we were out. They are growing like teens and throwing parties while the parentals are out. :)
The are really funny creatures as they seemed to want the confinement of their corral back and tended to huddle together and look for it. At the same time they want their freedom, too. If you look close, these guys still have some down on their heads and it is on their bellies, too, so they need to stay in a while longer.
Here is the reinforced chicken coop that Jeremy built at almost midnight the night of their partying. It is taller and a bit sturdier so we hoped it would hold them (and their mess) a bit longer.
Here they are starting to roost on the edges of the corral. They started sleeping like this. The byproduct is that they pooped on the floor so we had to add plastic on the floor all around. They then didn't seem to need the heat lamp anymore so we started leaving it off. Turns out they had to adjust to the lack of light all night. Seemed like they were scared of the dark as they would screech/complain very loudly for a bit. But they adjusted after a few nights.

They seem to have all their feathers in now. And they started to hop on top of the kitchen bar/counter and look at us while we were doing kitchen chores. They also could hop/fly in and out of the corral easily. The funny thing is that most of them still cheep like young chickens but one of them squawks like a grown chicken already. We call her our "real chicken". So we decided it was time for them to head on outside. We put them out during the day for a few days and then finally put them out all night and they have been out there for a full 4 days now.
Here is is their home for now.  We will paint the coop when the weather warms up a little more.

 And we are working on building a chicken tractor that we can move them around the yard during the day. We are going to put them to work tilling up the garden.

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