Pretty easy so far.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Johnboy78, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Johnboy78

    Johnboy78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    They are 12 weeks old, still growing and not laying so I guess they are still chicks.
    Put them out at 6 weeks, kept them confined in the run. My intention was to let
    them roam the yard once they were settled in the coop at night, figuring that would help
    ensure their return.

    They stayed outside the coop for a week, jammed together on the ground.
    So I went out at dusk and grabbed them amid protest and shoved them all in and shut the door.
    The next night all went in but one. I grabbed her and pushed her in.
    The third night they all went in at dusk.

    After a few days I let them out in the afternoon. And they went in for the night.
    Now I let them out when I get up. They spend the day scratching around, periodically
    returning to the run for feed, then back to the yard. There's no friction with the dogs.
    They travel as a group in their little flock of 8, preferring to stay under bushes and in the shrubs,
    when they cross an open space they do it quickly. They prefer weeds to herbs and flowers.
    They take dirt baths in the hollows the dogs dig to lie in.

    I've lost them in the yard a few times because they hide so well but they show no desire to leave.
    I've got a fenced 1/4 acre yard and the little group roams at will, heading to the coop as the sun
    is just leaving the treetops.

    The coop is a snap to clean, I've got an eglu cube, takes about 20 minutes to scrub with pinesol,
    rinse and wipe dry. Newspaper and some pine shavings cover the trays underneath, like a birdcage.
    They go in the compost heap. I do the deep litter thing using shredded straw. Had a few weeks of flies
    but their predators must have moved in because they've tapered off in the last week or so. I sit out on the deck
    close to the coop and the flies are not a problem. I stir the litter up with a rake every few days and if it's
    dry I spritz it with the hose a bit to help the composting action.

    Is this it or will they start to get independent and ornery like flying over the fence or trying to stay out at night?
    If their behavior doesn't change I have to say this is one easy gig. Give them feed, fresh water, let them roam.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Yep, I find them some of the easiest animals to keep, since they mostly take care of themselves. They will probably cause you anxiety at some point though. Last week I had a hen go broody for the first time, in a nest 6' off the ground, in the middle of heat wave, sitting on infertile eggs, and had to do some fancy maneuvering to get her moved to a more appropriate location and obtain some fertile eggs for her. She's worth it though - she's always been a great hen to have around. For the most part though, I find keeping them enormously rewarding and less work than many other animals.

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