Baby Chicks Join the Flock

The day old chicks were already out of the house and in a crate in the barn.

They quickly outgrew the crate and needed some more space. At around age 6 to 7 weeks, we moved them into the movable chicken tractor so they could experience full outdoor weather for the first time and better hone their foraging skills before merging with the main flock.

The chicks in the chicken tractor.

Here is a video of the chicks their first day in the chicken tractor:

The chicken tractor is moved every couple of days to a new spot to avoid dead spots in the pasture from too much foraging and digging. After a couple of weeks in the chicken tractor, the chicks were finally ready to join the main flock.

Click through to see pictures and videos of the chicks joining the main flock.

When we thought they were ready, we removed the chicks from the chicken tractor and placed them onto the roost bars inside the main coop at night while all of the chickens were mostly asleep. There was some initial squabbling over roost space, but they settled in for the night.

The next day, the chicks managed to find their way out of the coop, though they generally stayed near the edges of the coop for the next several days and ran inside or under the coop when they felt threatened.

Here is a video of the mostly grown chicks hanging out just outside of the coop door.

Eventually their confidence grew and they headed out in the larger pasture away from the coop.

As they moved farther and farther away from the coop, they still generally kept to themselves in a group of 6.

Here they are near the front barn, staying in tight group with most of the main flock in the background.

If you look closely at the blue-laced red wyandottes, you can see that one of them has a different color pattern from the other two (most noticeable in these pictures on the wings). More on that difference to come in a future post!

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