As we've been working in the garden, weeding and prepping for fall plantings, the chicks have been spending more and more time outside. Their playpen has grown from a four by six box to a 70 square foot play area corded off in the garden. They can run and play and, for the most part, stay out of trouble, safely behind the plastic chicken wire. In the early morning, Mom scoops up the chicks one-by-one, putting them gently into the carrier, to be toted out to the garden. They've been growing so fast, that soon the little pet cab will not nearly be big enough to easily accommodate its feisty passengers.
In order to get them used to the idea of a new means of transportation, we've built a mini-chicken tractor using a much larger tote set on the garden wagon. Bungee cords hold it securely in place while it goes bumping along. Right now it is set up to allow the babies to explore and use it for a playhouse. A bit of carpet glued to a piece of plywood makes a fine, slipfree ramp for little babies to run up and down.
The only challenge remaining is little chicks like to try their wings. Even the smallest can fly surprisingly high once they get it into their little chicky heads that that's where they want to be. 'Lookit me! I'm an eagle! Lookit me SOAR!' In a sudden explosion of feathers and fluff they take to the air, followed by a lot of complaining about being on the other side of the fence and away from the feeder, the water, and all their little friends. Guess this is why being in the garden is a supervised activity.
|Wow! This is nice. did you see all the hay and fluffy stuff in here? It's like a big nest!|
|Look how HIGH I am!|
|We're brave little chickies! wait a minute...was that a bug?|