Stepping Out With The Chicks

| 7/29/2016 12:45:00 PM

Tags: Icelandic chickens, broody hens, Jennifer Quinn, Scott County, Virginia,

Jennifer QuinnRecently I wrote about my introduction to raising chicks with a broody hen. At eight days old, my ten Icelandic chicks had all managed to fly out the top of my makeshift broody pen and now had the run of the coop. The next question in my mind was when it would be okay to let them outside with the hen. I knew they would stay with her, and she would do her best to protect them from harm, but it still made me apprehensive. What if one should wander off into the weeds and get lost?

Permaculture flocksters extol the benefits of letting the chicks out on range from day one, but I believe most have some kind of safe enclosure for them. Those who have had hens free-ranging with young chicks usually seem to experience some losses. Still, by the time the chicks were two days short of three weeks, both the hen and I were fed up with confinement, so I turned them loose, to their great jubilation.

Here they are heading out on one of their first few days of freedom:

out for a stroll

Apparently there’s something interesting in the bushes over here:

something interesting

7/31/2016 8:37:36 AM

Jennifer, nature has been designed to sense danger for survival. It almost seems mystical but animal and bird senses are way more acute than humans. It's amazing to read about the incredible abilities of birds to migrate from one place to another or the migration of butterflies really astounds me. ***** I wish you the best of luck with raising your free ranging chicks.

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