March 15th, 2018
March 27th 2018 - curious, but cautious.
This is one of the older gals. There are nine adults, currently.
These are the adult flock. They are never kind to the newly introduced hens, regardless of age.
The babies went into the coop with the adults today. They are terrified. The older chickens are picking on them, and the temps at night are colder than they've ever been exposed to. The coop is heated with a heat lamp, though and they are huddling together for security and warmth. The adult flock leave the coop by day, giving them an opportunity to eat/drink and acclimate.
'Older' gals. April 2018
Last week, something killed a chicken in the yard.
We suspect a raccoon. There's been evidence of droppings and something rutting divits in the lawn everywhere.
The morning in question, we had released them from the coop early - around 6am.
It happened shortly thereafter. We found one chicken with a broken neck still in the yard. There was a trail of feathers leading off into the wooded lot behind the property. We counted six adult chickens left, and the five spring babies who have yet to leave the coop - ever - at all...
That very day, Matty went out and got four more baby chicks. Two and two; "Silver Laced Wyandotte" and "Golden Laced Wyandotte"
Two days later, we did a recount and found an extra. So, now we have seven adults, five spring babies in the coop and four more babies in the brooder box in the basement.
It turns out, it was a fox that was after the chickens. It came back this past weekend and in broad daylight - about eight am - it was biting the terrified chickens through the fence. It couldn't get in and none were harmed beyond being absolutely terrorized.
Do they look guilty? These are our March babies, finally adventuring out of the coop. They are still small enough to step through the squares in the fence freely. I found them wandering around the potato patch, and when I went to herd them back up over the fence, I watched them simply walk right back through it instead. May 2018
The second 2018 batch of baby chicks went out to the coop the first of June. They are acclimating, albeit slowly. On June 19th, they still haven't ventured out of the coop, but they are eating and finding their space in the flock.