Wednesday, August 15, 2007

At Home

So, what I found when I arrived home....

I had left careful instructions for the care of the chicks - the 51 chicks in the basement divided between a playpen and a small swimming pool. This is what they looked like a week before I left. I would put them all in this box so I could clean out their 'pens'. I would close the lid and they would all fall asleep.

So along with constant feeding and regular cleaning of the 'pens' fresh bedding needed to be laid each night so they didn't sleep in their own poo... When I got home, I discovered that they had run out of bedding the day before Dean came to get me... And it was a shit hole down there...

I had plans to build a chicken tractor for them to keep them separate from my other chickens but allow them free range... But this situation called for immediate action. Luckily none of them had died and no disease seemed to be going through the little flock...yet... but in these conditions just such a scenario was all too likely. So I just grabbed them all and put them all outside with my other chickens - closed them all into the coop for the night with some food and water. I wasn't sure how it would go - I was afraid the big chickens would pick on them. Rhiannon and I spent quite a bit of time out there, supervising the next day. I think their sheer numbers - 51 chicks to 6 chickens (yes, I have lost 2 chickens - 1 to a coyote and one of old age) has made them intimidating to pick on. The first day, the chickens would chase them all back into the coop as soon as Rhi or I left and we would have to lure them back out with food. But by yesterday, they seemed to have worked out some kind of truce and the chicks were quickly cleaning themselves up and adapting to their new home with a flourish.

Sampson still drools on the other side of the chicken wire but the rooster stared him down yesterday to let him know that if he wanted a chick, he'd have to deal with him. So maybe their natural instincts are even beginning to kick in and chickens might not be quite as stupid as their reputation...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

We missed you Andrea, Im glad you had a nice camping trip. Those chicks are SO cute!!!!