Still catching up….
About 10 days ago, we moved our 4 “untouchables” to their new home…the lavishly designed chicken house. Who are the 4 “untouchables” you ask, and why am I calling them that?? They are the 4 originals…the 4 amigos (although 3 are amigas)…the 4 never to be seen on a dinner plate, soon to be leg banded so no mistakes, named after Shakespeare’s, “Much Ado About Nothing” male character roles even though 3 are hens, first brood of chickens our family has ever raised. I feel very parental over these fine, feathered friends!!
Penni, our Great Dane, must have been a little concerned too. She HAD to get into the chicken house and count her babies. As soon as she found everyone accounted for, she relaxed and left the newly designed home with her approval. She hasn’t needed to get in there since, so I guess everything checked out to her liking… ;O)
Their first night out of the brooder in the garage was a rough one….for me! I worried all night about raccoons or coyotes, were they warm enough, did they have enough light filtering in from the outside shop light. I had read that chickens like some sort of dim light in their house…that they are scared of the dark…really??? So I worried that they were cold, afraid, and vulnerable……am I the only one who thinks this way??
I think this is what you get when you move from city life to country life….an over exaggerated tendency to want to keep everything under your own roof to keep it safe. Maybe it stems from always needing to know where your animals are when you live in the city. If they are not within earshot or sight, they are at risk for getting hit by a car, picked up by animal control, or barking too loudly and disturbing neighbors. Dogs must always be leashed, confined, and controlled….cats, although given a bit more freedom, better not be choosing a neighbors freshly dug garden as an area of interest or they risk mysteriously disappearing. Always, always know what your pets are doing….since I have not been removed from that reality for very long, I am still working my way around the city confinement vs. being able to stretch the boundaries a bit more. I’m trying not to view the chickens as pets….but I think I have lost that battle with the 4 “originals.”
Despite my worrying, the chickens have done well. The last couple of nights have been cooler than I’m comfortable with since they don’t have any type of heat source. A light bulb or the heat lamp may be something we add today. I’ve read varying advice on that. These 4 are not of egg laying age, and although feathered out nicely, they don’t yet have the body fat (I’m guessing here) to keep them as warm as they should be. I am not sure if that is true or not. But they are not yet roosting, and they huddle together on the floor in a corner during the night…that tells me that they are a bit cold. I’m not okay with that, so we’ll see what we can do today. If anyone has insight of this, I’d be happy to get your advice!! The chicken house is not wired so we’ll have to run an extension cord…hhmmmm. I’ll have to figure out how to get an extension cord through a wooden wall…I may have to drill a hole…..sorry Tony!!!
Stay tuned…..the “fine wines” have had a little adventure of their own….but that’s for tomorrow!!