Friday, July 25, 2014

The Great Chicken Exodus

On the day after their 4-week mark, the chickens were moved to the outside world. Although my research suggested 6 weeks indoors, the average temperature outside and the crowded conditions inside prompted us to move up our eviction date. That, and we really wanted to put our newly completed chicken condo to use.

I moved the feeders and water jugs first, placing one of each into the coop and then the run. I also scattered a layer of pine shavings on the floor of the coop so the little chicken feet would have something soft to walk on. Hubby opened the hatch leading to the run, and we were ready.

The chickens, quite vociferous due to their buffet removal, were the next to go. Hubby and I carefully toted the first bin across the yard and out to the coop. The birds had suddenly become strangely quiet. First exposure to sunlight evidently quells the need to complain over lack of vittles. We placed the bin on the floor of the coop, shut the door, and waited.

The previous premises!
Nothing. Our silent tenants blinked at each other, most likely waiting for somebody to take charge of the situation. After a minute or so of this avian indecision, Hubby and I began lifting the confused birds out of the bin and turning them loose on the floor. Chaos! After weeks of standing room only in the 2x3 tote, the chickens now had 160 square feet of space, and what do they do? Smash themselves into a corner and wonder what the heck just happened.

Baffled birdies.

We repeated the procedure with the remaining tub of birds, with the same results. We watched the two groups of birds get reacquainted, and after a few moments, slipped quietly out the door.

I returned a while later, to make sure there were no casualties due to the trauma of the move. I found myself a seat next to the yard and watched and waited. At last, one of the chickens peeked out of the hatch and realized there was even more to this new world than the enormous new building.

Sneaking a peek.

Slowly, more chickens made their way to the opening, all too scared to venture outside. After what seemed like forever, a couple of them stepped onto the ramp, and when they weren't immediately struck dead, hopped down into the yard itself.

Hubby joined me after a while, as the birds explored their territory, darting frantically from one end of the yard to the other. We watched as they flapped and ran and cavorted now that they finally had the room to do so. Once we were sure they were all right, we left them to their own devices, confident that they would learn how to "chicken" without our interference.

If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’  Numbers 14:8

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