Sunday, April 15, 2012

Field Trip!

The bloggers may have gone quiet for a little while, but rest assured the Inman chicks have not!  They are busy as ever and there is much to report.  So here we go!

First...the chicken tractor.  It is a work in progress.  It began last weekend with a basic frame-up:

Jon and Dale also got the coop floor in place, and this weekend saw the addition of some walls and windows:

Meanwhile, the girls have been working hard to outgrow the brooder!  With the tractor still a work-in-progress, there is some debate about whether or not to stick it out another week in the basement or move to temporary quarters in the chicken coop in the barn across the street.  We're still debating.  We've made some improvements to the basement brooder.  Updates on that in the next post...

Even though the girls have not had an official change in living arrangements, they have still managed some excitement this weekend.  Today they went on a field trip!

 That's right!  Welcome, girls, to the front yard!  After just a short ride in the smart-pop box and a smooth landing in a make-shift play yard, the girls experienced grass beneath their feet and sun on their plumage for the first time ever!  Abby helped them de-box.

When they first found themselves on the grass in the sun, with the wind ruffling their feathers, they mostly just froze.  It was a big, wide, and strange world for the girls.  We just sat quietly and watched them settle in to their new experience.

We loved seeing who would be the bravest and who would follow the leader.

What's going on?
Where am I?
I think I need to lie down.
But after a few minutes, the girls began to tentatively explore their surroundings.  They had a pretty big area, but they mostly traveled in a pack, and they stayed pretty close to their box at first.  We also realized that they preferred to be near a person if possible, even if that person was on the other side of their fence.

There is something comforting and familiar about the feel of pine chips under foot.

"Let's go over here.  Everybody?  Stay close!"

Though new to their surroundings, the girls had no trouble whatsoever with the other critters around who were curious about them!

The ladies were very polite to Finn, but that's no surprise; he was a perfect gentleman.

Pretty soon they acted like they owned the place.

Look at them walk with confidence!

That last picture reminded me of something...

Look familiar?

The girls were happiest when Abby and I hung out with them in the pen.  I became a make-shift jungle gym.  Abby took some really excellent pictures, I'd say!

"Mommy, bend your head down lower."

Snuggle chicken.
This is a good perch.
But this is cooler.

 All in all, the chickens had a successful first outing.  We've read that they kind of need to be "hardened off" to the outdoors, like seedlings, so little trips like this are just the thing.  And what a pleasant way to spend a warm spring day in Maine!


  1. Wow they have really grown. How long before you get eggs?

  2. They still have a lot of growing to do to become full-sized chickens, though it seems amazing how much they've grown in just six weeks. No eggs til late summer.

  3. Wow, I cannot believe how big they are! Beautiful photos! And, Dale and Jon are doing great work on that tractor...