This was the week to introduce our five baby chicks to the flock. I wanted them to still have a safe haven to rest and eat without being abused by the adults, but to be able to begin mingling and exploring the world.
We cut a hole in the side of their brood box and made a hinged door that could double as a ramp out of the box, and then attached a bit of screen to allow only immature chickens to run in and out. It also gave me a chance to clean out and refresh their bedding for their second month of life on the farm.
I stood and watched for a while, as the curious adults listened and peered into the new entrance. The babies were too timid to approach and stayed under the heat lamp and in their familiar territory, but once or twice dared to peek out and see those huge chickens looking back in.
This morning, I was eager to see how they’d fared overnight and if the indoor/outdoor balance had changed. Surprise, while the adults were still penned in and waiting to be released for the day, the babies were all outside the fence, peeping away and looking at the big wide world around them.