On Tuesday Josh was working in the workshop and scared the babies. I came out a few minutes later to find babies everywhere. Only about half of the 55 were in the brooder; the rest were all over the floor, on the shelves, under the workbench... two were even hiding in the bag of bedding with just one little face peeking out. So we decided they had outgrown the brooder, and it was time to move to the coop.
This is where our coop design with a central coop and two lean-tos comes in handy. We are able to shut off one side to use for the babies by simply closing a door. They have their own henhouse, and when they are a little bigger, we can open another door and let them out into their own fully fenced run. The bigger birds can hear them now and once they're in the run they'll be able to see each other too. So when they are finally integrated it is a smoother process.
First step was to seal up the ventilation at the top to help keep them warm. The babies are not quite a month old. They have lots of feathers but are still susceptible to the chilly temps so we need to provide as much warmth as possible.
We also tied up the roosting bars to the ceiling to make room for the brooder box. Waterer and feeder were moved over and hung low for the babes.
Last step was to collect the chickies into a large container while we moved the brooder box over. This was a funny task because it was like playing hide and seek with 55 tiny birds. They are usually so loud, constantly chirping and peeping, but man can they be quiet when they want to! We thought we had them all then Josh found two more under his workbench. About an hour after we had completed the move I came back into the workshop to find one lonely little bird shivering on the pile of bedding left behind. I guess she had been hiding really well and we missed her. Don't worry she recovered once she was reunited with her sisters.
We took the bottom off the brooder box and moved the shell over into the coop. The heat lamps were strung up and foam set over the top to keep the warmth in.
We were ready to move the babies over. In they went!
Initially they huddled inside the brooder but when I came back out to check on them they were out exploring in the rest of the henhouse.
With more room to roam, the little ladies were spreading their wings and flying around. Boy they do grow fast. We'll be getting more eggs before we know it!
There is much to be thankful for today and always.