Now that I've told you what my garden used to look like, let me tell you what the chickens used to enjoy... running free. They are still free-range. It's just that their range is smaller than it used to be.
Here is what they used to have...
It's hard to believe that, in another three months or so, the fifty new hens will be laying eggs. I guess they can all live together peacefully by then - the young and the old. That will be fifty-four hens laying eggs every day! Does anyone out there have any egg recipes they'd like to share?
Well, I waited for Hubby to do the filming and it didn't happen... So today I donned my mask and venture inside the coop for a quick shot of the babies before they were turned out. (sorry about the shaky video... meds) They've really grown since you last saw them! The older hens that are laying have been moved to the small hen house so the babies could have the entire coop for themselves. It's a 10' x 20' house. Hubby recycled old playset ladders for the roosts.
Yea! I actually have my garage back! Well, we don't really use it as a garage... It's usually to full of junk. But at least I can use the back door again. A couple of days ago I caught one of the babies standing on the tallest waterer, looking over the wall for a landing zone. Yesterday Hubby had to catch one and put it back in the pen. Plus, since they had quadrupled in size, they were starting to create a smell. So the eviction notice was served. Hubby got busy and finished their new home in the big hen house.
He had no plan on how to get them from point A to point B. Yeah, somehow I knew I was going to get stuck with the dirty work. I got a piece of greenboard that was small enough to handle but large enough to almost reach across their enclosure and slowly herded them down to one end. Then it was just reach in, grab one, stuff it in the kitty-carrier... Hubby took some video of me collecting them for the journey, but he's not so good with the camera. Anyway, I cut out this clip of me showing him one of the birds I call angel wings. It looks so beautiful in the sunlight.
Seeing them sleep took some getting used to. At first we kept thinking they had died! They stick their heads down in the bedding and some of them stretch out in such an abnormal looking posture. As soon as a bunch get into a nice deep slumber, one will come ripping through the crowd to wake them up. It's a wonder any of them got any sleep at all!
I still can't believe we haven't lost a single chick! That's very unusual. Hopefully that won't change now that they are outside. It will be a little harder for Hubby to maintain a constant temperature, but before long they will be acclimated to the outdoor temperature. Wonder how the old gals are going to sleep tonight with all the babies chirping...
Well, the babies have been here for forty-eight hours and all are still alive! Thursday, there was one that we didn't think would make it, but now we can't tell which one it was... That's a good sign. We've read and been told that you can plan on losing a certain percentage right off the bat. So I guess we're pretty lucky. If you call having seventy-five chicks in your garage lucky!