Today is Saturday and that means that the babies are at least two weeks old – maybe 15 days. Since they arrived before dawn at the post office on Monday morning, February 9th, I am guessing they were born and shipped on the previous Friday… but maybe Saturday. Anyway, I digress. Today has been a big day! We moved the babies out to their new, permanent home – our recently completed chicken coop/garden shed!
My big motivation to move them was Cool (soon to be permanently named – I am tired of calling them by colors, breeds, and other temporary names); she is the most advanced flier in the group and was spending her free time hopping on and off the tops of the feeders and waterers. And like I said before – it’s only about 6 more inches from there to the top of the brooder and to freedom. Anywho, this made it so I had to put a piece of wire cloth over the top as a lid to prevent escapees. This wasn’t so good because they were very afraid every time I had to move the lid.
So, I told our builder that I was moving the chicks into the coop on Saturday morning and so it simply had to be done and sercure by the end of Friday. This shouldn’t have been a hard goal, considering he told me he would be totally done every week for the past four weeks. Anyway, he stepped up and finished yesterday, other than the outside doors for the nesting boxes (so we can gather eggs from outside the coop), which he will return to finish in a week or two, at no extra charge to me since he was supposed to be done yesterday. So, here are some pictures of the finished product. Not too shabby.
While I was finishing setting up their food and water, Brian went about rounding up the babies and placing them in a cardboard box for transportation. They weren’t thrilled.
Then we whisked them quickly out to their new home. It was still scarily cold inside, but warming up.
At this point there was nothing to do but go for it – tip the box over and let them come out of their own accords. Some were better at this than others. Some of the Marans and Cool the Ameraucana were the first to head out into the unknown. They have historically been the boldest of the chickies, so no surprise there.
Soon, most of the others followed suit.
Eventually a Buff Orpington gave it a shot.
However, not surprisingly, a few of the babies remained terrified.
I felt sorry for the poor, scared babies (two Buff Orpingtons, two Ameraucanas, and Mystery chick – the typical scardy-cats of the group) and wanted to let them keep the box for a while since I thought it made them feel secure. But, Brian said we should dump them out of the box and take it away to forced them to stop hiding and get going with the food, water, and heat. He was right. We waited a while and those guys just sat there in a clump like that and then we finally gently tipped them out and took the box away. They immediately went over to the others and started eating and drinking and peeping happily. It was the right thing to do.
Within mintues, they were back to business as usual, almost like nothing had changed.
They were particulalry fond of the little custard cup we used to bring in some extra food to entice them out of the box initially. It is SO MUCH fun because you can jump on it, in it, and tip it over! It is also excellent for a game of Feeder Jump – wait until three of four of your friends are eating and then get up on the block of wood nearby and divebomb them, landing directly in the middle of the bowl of food! Could life be any better? (sorry, no pics of Feeder Jump yet)
Also, flying is more fun in the new coop because there is more space and you can really get a good running start! After all this fun, it is quite enjoyable to stretch out under the heat lamp. It’s like a chicky spa!
Well, that’s it so far for news on the move. We have been checking on them regularly and all seems to be well. I will start to worry more as the sun goes down and the temperature drops. Sunset is in about 20 minutes. Hopefully the lamps will keep them warm enough. I am happy because the low tonight is only about 40 – instead of the 20s like last night! I will keep you posted on how they are doing!