Saturday, August 1, 2015

Further adventures with little chicks or Bed-bye NOT

The warmer weather has been a real plus for moving the baby chicks out to their new chicken tractor.  I should say that the babies aren't little babies any more.  They may be 10 weeks old, but they are fully feathered and ready to take on the world!  The plastic chicken wire fence that defines their play yard is of little consequence as some of the bigger chicks loft themselves into the air like giant awkward bumblebees. 
 Each morning, bright and early, the tractor is opened up allowing the babies to wander out for their chicky adventures.  Fresh water and chicky chow is available inside at all times but outside: the world is their salad bowl.  Everything is new to these little busy bodies.  If someone finds a bug, everyone has to rush over to see what it is.  If someone tastes something delicious (like the bug), everyone wants a bite.  What can I say?  They're better than television.
 Like all our chicken friends that came before, this year's hatchlings are being taught 'Bed bye'.  Put simply, when I tell them 'Bed bye' all the little chickies are to head up the ramp and go to bed.  Well, its worked on everyone that has come before.  Of course we have a little problem with this year's group.
This year I decided to introduce the babies to the great outdoors by taking them on little field trips to the garden.  One-by-one I would scoop them up out of their chicken nursery, place them into a small pet carrier before toting them outside.  This has worked extremely well.  No one fusses about being handled.   They know that I'll keep them safe from anything scary that might come along (larger birds, plastic bags, big trucks rumbling down the road, etc).
At the end of the day, I open the carrier and call 'bed bye'.  Everyone dutifully stops whatever she's doing and ducks into the box.  Easy-peasy.  When they arrive back at the nursery, each little chicky is picked up, given a little lovin's, then put to bed.
When they moved to the chicken tractor, I forgot that merely opening the door was not going to quite do it.  Soon as I put the carrier down, everyone wanted to go into that.  Moving a small pet carrier with 13 little peepers inside is no big deal. 
150617, babies first day out
Now, with only five of the children in the carrier proves a tight fit.  But tight or no, they all wait their turn to go into the box so that one-by-one, they can be lifted out, given a little lovin's from Moma, and tucked into bed.  Bed bye...
It's going to be a long summer...