Remember these cute, adorable little balls of fluff?
So off I went to the feed store to pick up several bales of pine shavings and a chicken feeder and fountain. No more chicky sippy cups, you're eating at the adult table now!
I'm using the deep litter method of bedding in the coop. It requires less maintenance and provides more insulation for the chickens. In the fall I'll remove the entire bed, compost it, and start fresh and then again the following spring. This was the method the previous owner of the coop used for her chickens and it was very successful.
After putting in the bedding I hung the feeder and the fountain at the chickens chest height. This keeps the shavings out of both for the most part and saves on feed too. A lot less poopy feed and water to be tossed. These are the somewhat, uhm, less romantic, realities of chick raising. I also hung the brooder lamps to provide a little extra heat for them since we're still having some mid-40F temps at night. The pullets are fully feathered and will be all right but they have been living in a temperature controlled environment up until now. I want to ease them in to outdoor life.
With the coop ready, I went back up the hill to the house, rounded up the girls into their tubs and clapped the lids on them. They, along with their feed and grit, got loaded into the truck for the ride to their new home. I unloaded the tubs into the coop and took the lids off allowing the pullets to check out their new home and come out of the tubs in their own time. Meanwhile I filled their feeder and fountain and ran the cord to power the brooder lamps.
|What is this place?|
During all these frolics the girls showed no interest in that brightly lit rectangle that leads to the great outdoors. They'd never been outside before. Right then I understood the loophole about "free range eggs" and corporate chicken batteries. If those chicks (like ours) were raised indoors, no matter how well lit, artificially or with sunshine through windows, their experience is dim light and they just won't explore going through that hatch and out into the world on their own. This morning I set about coaxing them out.
|Hey! HEY! Come look at this!|
|What's this green stuff?|
|C'mon! Ya gotta see this!|
|It feels weird on my feet|