But before the rakes came out I freed the chicks!
My poor little babies (who REALLY aren't babies anymore!) were left to fend for themselves for an hour before bed on Saturday then they joined the big girls in the coop for the night.
I realized that the bottom wrung of the roost is just a little too thick for the chicks to hang onto when I went in at 5am to put them back in their tractor for a few hours... they were all sleeping in a pile in the nesting boxes!
On Sunday I freed the chicks from the tractor again and they got the lay of the land. There was a little bit of squabbling with the hens, but for the most part they kept to themselves (except when one of the little roosters decided he wanted to get "down to business" with one of the bigger hens... not yet little guy!!). I trusted them all together and went in for a late breakfast (which of course was fried eggs and toast!).
While I was helping my parents sort out their garden we realized that I was down one chick! I walked around the house, behind the garage to the creek and even along the pipeline which cuts through the middle of the 25 acre property... still no chick! I went back to work (even though my parents thought I should have kept looking). I told my folks that either a) it got picked up by something while we were inside having breakfast (which I thought unlikely since we would have heard, also there were no feathers in the yard) or b) it went for a walk and was taking its time coming home. Either way, it would or would not come home... That's how free range works!
After about two hours I figured I'd be down a chick... even the hens never left the yard for more than an hour... and they always went in a group for their longer outings. My mum went back into the bush to look for it and on my way to the compost pile with a load of manure and hay, guess who came strutting from who-knows-where behind the garage! I guess there must have been some good bugs back there!
|My new "puppy"!|
|Chicken selfies are the best selfies!|