First time outside, and dirty chickens?

mrs1885

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 14, 2013
90
3
41
Van Buren Co, TN
I took the chicks outside for the first time today. I put them in an x-pen for dogs and stayed right with them since the tiny girl that had been sick is still so small she can walk right between the bars! She walked out once and I put her in. She did it again and I decided to see what she planned on doing. She looked really confused and then ran back in with them. Sweet. Problem solved with her!

We had a hawk in the pasture across the street while we were out there. There are some geese that nest around the lake and some crows that nest in the trees and the crows kept chasing off the hawk, so I didn't dare walk away, even for a second. It was great to see them all have a chance to be chickens though. They were pecking and scratching in the grass and dirt, eating dirt, bugs, grass seed, etc. They even started testing out their wings to see if they could fly. Once I put them outside full time, is it safe to clip their wings? They'll have a fenced area where no predators can get them and the dogs are out there most of the time too and it will keep the hawks and stuff from going after them. We never had problems with our other chickens and predators, but they did learn they could fly over some areas of the fence and I don't want them out there because I can't protect them from anything anywhere else.

Also, they're filthy! Can you bathe chickens? Or give them a shower? I know it sounds stupid but they're just gross! I'm sure it's from walking around the pen at night and climbing on each other before I change the pen in the morning but ick! I don't remember the other chicks being dirty like this and we had twice as many last time.
 

Clackclack

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
118
8
71
If it totally bothers you that the chickens are 'dirty' you can bathe them. If it's cold, you can even blow dry them afterwards...
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
Okay that's what I was thinking! I went over to a friends yesterday and all her chickens were out free ranging for the day. They had baths all over the place! Haha
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
130
196
D/FW
I heard one time that to keep any vegetation growing that you would need about 100 sq ft per bird. I was wondering if my backyard would survive till spring got here. Looks like Normandy after D-day.
 

MANNA-PRO

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