Well, now that my Littles are getting bigger and have all their feathers, we’ve been busy devising a way for them to use the run and go outside on nice days -if we ever GET ANY nice days this Spring – and still keep them relatively safe.
I have, in occasion, brought a couple of them outside at the same time as the Big Flock and it was … Interesting. Peanut and Lola antagonized a couple of the older hens and then freaked out when the hens tried to defend themselves.
I am unsure if the older girls would have hurt them had I not been supervising, because they did not hurt Pip even after Abby stopped defending him. Mostly they chased, lunged and left him to run away.
Would they have attacked them? I don’t know because all interactions have been supervised.
However, as the Littles get bigger and it gets (hopefully) warmer, they deserve to go outside and be safe.
We first thought to simply split the run into two unequal halves.
But then I thought – why not tunnels? We could put s border of tunnels around the existing run, and add a second chicken door into the ‘grow up coop.’ This would allow the Littles to go outside and remain safe from not only the older chickens but also from predators who might seek to make a snack out of a small chicken.
It’s not done yet, and won’t be done until next weekend, mostly because DH has to go out of town, but the tunnels themselves are done. We let some of the chicks check it out, and they seemed to like it.
Every morning now, Matilda and Peanut will sit on the top perch and stretch their necks to peek over the top of the brooder and see … whatever they can see. Sometimes, one of them will jump out and sit and watch me work. Matilda likes to do that the best. She’s a very curious girl, and had very keen eyes. I can tell she is thinking lots of things.
She’s going to have a lot to think about this week. Tomorrow, Dad and I will be hanging the door between the main coop and the ‘grow up coop’ so that they will be able to move in soon.
There’s a lot still to be done. Before the hanging, I need to clean the coop and remove all the old ‘deep litter’ and straw, and give the side the little ones will be in a good cleaning. There are also new curtains to be hung on both sides.
Dad did a minor tweak to the laying boxes, as well. He added a couple of inches to the front of the boards, thus making the beds a little deeper.
I am hoping this will help keep the straw in the next and not so much on the floor, as well as provide a more comfortable nesting environment for the hens who are laying eggs.
I don’t know if you can tell from these pictures, but they really do look deeper in real life:
After the split, I’ll be adding straw to all the laying boxes. We didn’t use the bottom rows last year. Now that they’re deeper, I hope they will start. Might add some plastic eggs to them to encourage the thought.
More pictures when I get coop cleaned out and the curtains hung. 🙂
So… I totally forgot the Week-aversaries this past week.
Here are Peanut (representing the Mystery Bin Girls, as always), an Unnamed Australorp and an Unnamed Buff Orpington.
Peanut and her Mystery Bin sisters are turning 5 Weeks tomorrow. The Australorps and BO’s are now 4 1/2 weeks. I chose to compare them this way to show how they match up for size. Peanut is average-sized for the older ones. There are a couple smaller than her. This Australorps are all around the same size-ish, and the BO is one of the smaller ones. There’s one that’s as big as Peanut!!!
Next I may change things up and take individual pictures of one group of them. Maybe we can play a round of ‘hen or roo’ at the 5-week mark and see how many we get right as things progress.
I spaced off pictures of Pip this week. He’s 19 weeks old. It might be time to stop celebrating his week-aversaries now. However, if you’re interested… here are Dots and Pip (father & son) at the same age, roughly.
Pip, of course, is a cross between the sexlink (Dots) and a Rhode Island Red hen. I believe they have the same mannerisms and facial features. Even if they don’t the same coloring, Pip still reminds me a LOT of his papa. They are both handsome lads. 🙂
Here we have… Candy, Stacey, Matilda, Peanut, Lola & Scarlet… aka the Mystery Bin Chicks.
At Week 3, they’re looking a little scruffy as their feathers come in. Peanut is still my diva, still the boss. I foresee trouble when we integrate because my Abby Girl is the boss of the older hennies. Peanut is going to have fall in line or suffer the consequences. Abby doesn’t even guff from our rooster!
Because I missed most of the Little’s Week-aversary pics, and because today is Pip’s 16th week…here’s the pics I promised I’d get today.
Yes, Pip… you are handsome. Just like your papa, even though he’s white and yellow and you’re red and white.
Pip showed his first signs of leaving ‘awkward adolescence’ behind and heading into ‘horny teenager’ stage this morning. He tried to mate with his ‘Auntie Riley.’ Riley turned around and bit him and then chased him back into the coop, where he retired to the window sill to sulk and figure out where he went wrong.
He needs to observe Dots more and learn how papa woos the ladies.
Peanut and Matilda representing the Mystery Bin Girls this week. Peanut is still my diva.
I’m pretty sure the one on the right is Ash, the chick we brought up to keep Baby company when she was in Chick Containment.
The little chick on the right is my poor injured chick, Baby, who has a fully recovery. She’s still smaller than everyone else, but I love it when I can say they are no different the rest of the flock. 🙂
I don’t know if you can see this in the picture…but their eyes are BLUE!!! I never knew that before.
And just because… here is Little Dude sitting with his favorite hen, Jolene.