Meet Heather and Brian, Lansing residents and hopeful urban farmers. Follow them as they document their new project: raising backyard chickens. You’ll see the construction process, meet their chicks and follow their development over the summer.
Move In Day!
We’ve finally arrived at the moment of truth: introducing the chicks to their new coop-and-run.
There were, of course, a million details to iron out on the last weekend before we could bring them out permanently. Here’s a look at some final stage preparation and building:
Our chicks are six weeks old, feathered out and ready to live outside full-time. We were anxious to get them out of the brooder and into these spacious new digs! They were a little anxious too.
And so we moved them into their new home. They were a little overwhelmed at first, and stayed in a tight group. In a few short hours they were exploring happily.
The first night was a bit sleepless. I woke up in the middle of the night worried about a small hole left open for electrical, and my first bleary thought was “weaselferretminkpinemarten.”
Luckily we had no mishaps in the night. Upon opening the door the girls hopped out and enjoyed their first full day outside.
Mei Mei is a little leery of the ramps we’ve built: she’s still smaller than the other four.
The chicks also ignore their fancy roost bar, preferring to mob up in the doorway at night or just sleep in a pile in the pine shavings. Instinct will change this behavior eventually, but it might take a few more weeks. We also can’t use our much-loved automatic door yet, as the chicks don’t always climb into the coop when it gets dark. It’s just Day Four of the new set up, so we’ll give them a little more time to get their bearings.
Dust baths are fun, and stick climbing is popular. They run up for treats whenever we check on them. Spoiled chickens!
Next post: A Day on the (Urban) Farm
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