Tuesday, July 7, 2009


My plans for cleaning out the old chicken coop for the new flock was foiled this weekend - the hay was ready! Between Friday night and Saturday night we picked up, transported and restacked 300 bales of nice grass hay in our barn for the year (thanks Alan and Amanda for helping in the dark Friday night!!). It feels great to have that done.

This morning I finally got the old coop cleaned out, the feeder and waterer sterilized and filled (and hung at a chick-appropriate height), the brooder light hooked up via massive lengths of outdoor extension cords, and fresh shavings down on the floor. The chicks were ridiculously easy to catch and drop into a large box, which I lugged out to the barn, and one by one set each into the new coop. I sat on the floor awhile and watched them go from huddled fear to jubilant, gleeful scratching. The new digs are huge at 7'x6' with a 3' window and high ceiling, massive compared to their little 3'x4'x2' lidded brooding box. They're now all settled and happy.

I think I have five roosters, and of those there's one I definitely don't want to keep - one of the white "chocolate chippers", actually the largest chick of the whole bunch, who seems aggressive. I could have sworn the other day it came at me and karate kicked my hand, and today I watched it do the same at another rooster. The other rooster I might like to keep...the white one, not so much.

The babies will be confined to the coop for at least a couple more weeks, during which time I'll rearrange the "funiture" (the nesting boxes and roosts) from the last flock into something that might actually work. I'm also planning to cut a new access door for them to the outside so they can free range (under supervision) without traipsing through the barn and messing up our hay bales like their parents did.


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