Chicks are growing up quickly


In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
My chicks will turn five weeks old next Tuesday. They have been in the chicken run during they day for a couple weeks now, because they love running around, scratching, and picking things up outside. While I love seeing them so happy when they first get to go outside, I think they did not like being transported from the brooder to the chicken run and back on a daily basis. So, when night temps were dropping only to the mid 50s and when I noticed that they wanted to roost (as I caught them sitting on the edge of the brooder and eying the counters), I decided to put them outside permanently. Their feathers seem to have come in more or less all over their bodies already anyway. I kept them in the coop for a 20 hour period to have them get used to it. I also put the brooder into the coop to make it feel more familiar. Last night I put them into the coop, but tonight - on their second night outside - they all went in by themselves. I noticed some distressed peeping when it got darker, but eventually they all calmed down as they decided to go into the coop after all.

Initially I was wondering whether I should follow the consensus that chicken should be locked into their coop for two (or more) days to make them accept the coop as their new home but my chicken seem to really love being outside. I didn't have the heart to keep them locked up for so long, not when it was a nice day outside. On their second day outside they seem to be ok "putting themselves to bed", too. What joy to see that!

The bottom line is that I think it is important to pay attention to how chicken actually behave. They communicate pretty well with their peeping and their behavior. But maybe we are just lucky with our two Rhode Island Reds, our two Plymouth Rocks, and our two Easter Eggers.

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