Another interesting hike
In other news, it was time to integrate flocks today, so the six babies got introduced to the big kid house. That meant cleaning and dusting the big house, replenishing food, moving hens over and separating flocks for a bit, getting babies acquainted to new food and water locations, spreading plenty of snacks all around so there’s enough for everyone to peck at (so they don’t pick on each other), and then leave for swimming lessons and a hike so I don’t obsess over every sideways glance the chickens give each other. Still, it weighed on me all day. After all, these little guys were hatched by Jersey and me. I didn’t want them to come to an untimely demise. Tonight they were uncertain about getting in the house – I think Jersey was acting as a bouncer. Merlin really just wanted to hunker down and not think about the cheeping. Lots of cheeping today. At one point I had 6 little hens all tucked into my lap as I comforted them and told them to go in the house. Then they piled on top of each other, climbing all over each other to be the one on the bottom, protected. It was a hen heap. So then I moved them all to the nursery where Jersey had nested, gave them fresh water in the hamster waterer, and put up a concrete block to give them privacy. I stroked their little necks and talked to them. Finally the cheeping calmed down. I think they will be fine – it’s snug where they are and together they’ll generate enough heat. They have food and water handy, and we’ll hope for the best. They’d been weaned off the heat lamp in the garage over the past two weeks and it’s upper 50s at night. The farmer in me says they’ll be totally fine. And so they will. And if they aren’t, well, you can be sure I’ll think it through and try to improve next time. But they had totally outgrown their brooder box in the garage and were starting to fly around in there any time I had to do feed or water. And you already know how those little rascals had messed up their food and water SOOO many times. I was really done with that! They’d soaked the bottom of the cardboard apartments I had made. Time to move on, guys 🙂 Cross fingers with me!