Today, we made a wire partition in the brooder and moved the tiny batch 2 chicks from their cardboard digs to the “real” brooder. For their safety, we created a separator from leftover hardware cloth (always handy to have around, and we use plenty of it), so the month old chicks can see the three day old chicks but can’t actually reach them.
The teens were very curious…and so were the littles. One little yellow ball of fluff ran right up to the wire and pecked at the older chicks on the other side. The teens also pecked at the littles. The littles adapted well to their new environment, alternating between running around in their new space and resting under the brooder plate. It’s hard to believe that the littles will look just like the teens do now in a few weeks (and this is the awkward feathering phase where the teens look a bit like skeksis).
In a few weeks, with warmer weather, the teens will be spending their days out in the chicken “grow out” tractor, on grass. They should be fully feathered in a couple more weeks, though only about half the size they’ll reach as adults. They’ll appreciate the stimuli the new environment will provide (grass and maybe even bugs), and will fly around wildly just like their parents did when they were teens. We’ll get to chase them around the brooder every morning, put them into a special tote for transport to the tractor, and repeat the process in reverse in the evening. These guys are fast, too.
Who says farmers don’t get a workout?