Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Am Not a Roosting Pole!

Happy 7 weeks old, chicks!


A very welcome sight met me tonight when I went into the chicken coop. A very welcome sight, indeed. For the past several weeks, I've been having a battle of the wills with these young ladies. For anyone who has never met a chicken, they are very strong willed, but only because they are such creatures of habit. They don't like any change in their routine. Unfortunately, mine learned the wrong routine, so change they must!

My coop is long, narrow room with the lovely roosts at one end. At the other end (the door end) is a curtained-off storage area. When I first moved the girls out, they huddled in the corner at the door end. As they've grown, they have started spending the night in the storage area (which makes for a very messy storage area). Each night, I go out and gently pick them up and place them on the roost. The next night, they huddle up on the floor, and we go through the routine again.

Last night, I decided to go for a little surprise play... I shooed them out of the corner, and stood guard, forcing them to find a new safe place all on their own. After much cackling, clucking, and flapping about, a few found their way to the roost, and the rest followed in not-so-very-short order. I think I stood in the corner of the coop for about 35 minutes last night.

Tonight when I went out, I was greeted by this sight--

14 happy chicks ridiculously piled up on the roost! Don't ask me why they are only using half the roost space... I choose to ignore that and focus on the fact they climbed up there at all!

The other two? I suppose they thought all the piling up was getting tiresome.

Earlier in the evening, Gretchen decided my arm looked like a nice place to take a rest...
Later this week, ten of these lovely ladies will be going to live with my MIL. It's been fun raising chicks, in the same way taking 14 ten year old children to the water park is fun. The kind of fun you tell stories about for years, but never do again.

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