We've been taking these precious little chicks outside for some fresh air the past couple days and getting them ready for the big move out of their tubs. As you can see, they've entered their awkward "tween" stage as they gradually trade in their soft fuzz for actual feathers.
Our chicken farmer is moving them into their new digs, a specially designed meat chicken tractor built by my very talented husband.
Here's another view of the tractor. It's a much simpler design than the egg-layers' tractor. These chickens won't be needing nesting boxes. This is designed to provide them plenty of grass to forage and sunlight. Like our other tractor, it's set on wheels, so we can move them every day or so to fresh ground. Before you know it, we'll be eating free-range chicken! (I know this doesn't seem like free-range, as they are in a confined space, but my reading suggests that the term simply means they're given continual access to fresh ground. The term pastured is used to describe birds who have had free range of large swaths of land. -- Just a little poultry FYI you can use when reading labels at the supermarket.)
"What's this green stuff?"
John positioned them right outside my kitchen window for the first day so that I could keep an eye on them. They seemed to happy all day and may have doubled in size. They just pecked away at that grass all day long!
Speaking of my view from the kitchen window, the chicks moving to the backyard now brings our backyard animal tally to 35! Let's inventory.
6 laying hens
Yep, that's 35 animals! And that doesn't even count the snake John killed a couple weeks ago or that wretched neighbor cat who keeps coming over the fence to use my garden as a litter box!
We are loving our little backyard farm!