Saturday, June 12, 2010

Transition to the tractor

Chickens are a month old today, and it's warmer outside than it is inside the brooder. Over the past week I put them in the tractor for increasing amounts of time, up to 8hrs. They are much bigger, and are starting to pick up chicken proportions. At this point they are bigger than pigions but a bit smaller than the giant crows I've seen this year. They'll end up around 6# or so. In the pic one of the RIRs is pecking at a piece of corncob to get the little edible bits out.

Thursday night we put them out but they were scared and cried. We picked them up around 1am and put them back in the brooder.

Friday we put them in the brooder all day and they all went to sleep around 10pm. They went upstairs to the nesting area around midnight. They peeped quietly a bit then fell asleep.

Today (Saturday) we moved the tractor a few feet to expose a fresh bit of chicken-yard interface. This evening they nested by sundown. I left them a little 25w "nightlight" to calm them. They need it less and less but I want the transition to outdoor life to be as easy as possible.

They roost a bit but end up sleeping on flat surfaces. At some point they will start to roost more as we used the recommended 2" width, sanded the edges to make them comfy, and made them a bit higher than the nesting area.

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