I know you have all been anxiously awaiting the latest chick update! Well, they are about 4 months old now and they are doing GREAT! They are all looking good and are very used to us by now. Most of them will eat right out of our hand. And we have discovered that they LOVE WEEDS! They won't eat the lettuce or other things that we like to eat when we put them in there (or not much anyway) but they go nuts over the weeds. I am hoping that this bodes well for letting them do some scrounging around in the garden.
Red (the Rooster) has learned his place at the bottom of the pecking order (for now) so the girls aren't picking on him anymore. They are even letting him sleep in the coop with them. He is starting to get some dark feathers around his neck and in his tail. I think he is going to be a fine looking rooster!
We are planning to let them out to free range during the day. They will go back into the coop at night, which shouldn't be a problem since they are already used to sleeping in there at night. I worry about the cats harassing them but I am hoping that Red will be protective enough of his flock (once he actually realizes that he is a Rooster) that the cats will leave them alone. This is why we are waiting for them to be full size before we start letting them out. Shouldn't be too much longer though! Probably about another month.
Petey needs a little more work to so that he realizes that the chickens are not dinner! He does not even give the geese a second look while they are over here though so he'll probably be used to chickens roaming around in no time. At first they will be under strict supervision! We have trained them so that when they hear us shake a can with rocks in it that it is time to eat. So, they'll come running back to the shed when they hear this so we should be able to collect them fairly easily when we need to. This is why we are waiting for them to be full size before we start letting them out. Shouldn't be too much longer though! Probably about another month or two.