Last week my new chicks – the first batch that is – moved to their big girl coop. The 13 Gold Comets and 4 Ameracaunas had outgrown the yurt inside and only a couple had some downy left. The other reason? My roommate picked up 3 Welsummers and 3 Cuckoo Marans – more colored eggs! – and they were nearly ready to move from the Sterilite brooder box to the yurt.
It wasn’t quite as warm as I would have liked (and the cold front that moved in this week was an unexpected surprise), but they are doing just fine in their new space.
The chicks all fit into the pet carrier and made the journey to the coop together. They are starting coop life in last year’s Water World – I’ve been improving it this year so it has fresh paint and the holes have been patched. I filled the space with fresh straw – lots of play space and it’s best for keeping birds warm when they are on the floor. I also constructed some short roosting spaces, but it’s been my experience that chicks will snuggle together for the first few months of life before they really roost at night/to sleep.
The girls have been living outside for a little over a week and are doing great. They haven’t yet gone outside – I’m hoping the grass will grow first – but love hopping up in the tunnel. On warm days I pull up the tarp so they can see outside. They like looking at the “big girls” (who don’t seem too concerned about them) and dust bathing in the dust/straw on the tunnel floor.
These girls will be 8 weeks old next week and done with the medicated feed recommended for baby birds. By that point I’d love to intro them to the outside before they meet the big girls – I really want them to have access to some real, in the ground grass and not just what I pull from the garden. Either way they’ll be just fine – they are growing well and should be laying eggs by July (and I’ll know if any of the Ameracaunas are roosters by then too!)