Chicken Yard Graduation

May
24

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Our first group of feedstore chicks (including Golden Comets, White Leghorns, and Rhode Island Reds) aren’t chicks anymore–they’re little chickens–and having passed their finals with flying feathers, they graduated to the wide open world yesterday.


The commencement address was delivered by Dookie.
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“Keep your expectations low,” the farm shih-tsu advised, “and you won’t be disappointed in life. The Giant Puppy is going to get all the attention anyway.”
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No wonder I had to spend 30 minutes chasing the graduating chickens around the pen until I caught them and thrust them out the door one by one. How easy it would have been if they would have just cooperated! I told them they would love it!

C’mon. Line up. Single file. Let’s go. But oh no, I had to chase and catch.
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“It’s fabulous out here!” the little chickens said. “Why didn’t anyone tell us?”

(Head bang.)

The ducklings are bigger than the little chickens, but they’re not well-feathered yet and just seem less mature. They’re staying in the chicken yard a bit longer.
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Meanwhile, out in the wide open world, the little chickens met the big chickens. Uh, sorta big chickens. See the year-old banty hen on the far right? She’s smaller than the little chickens. (That’s a full-size mature hen on the far left.)
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Some of the little chickens, including Refund-the-Rooster, spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get back in the chicken yard.
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Then they found out there was good eating to be had. A feast like they’d never known before. Fresh and all-natural!
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And off they went. They don’t need permission slips anymore, either.
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(Though we did have to chase them around and around AGAIN late yesterday to show them the way into the chicken house to the new extra roost we set up for them in there. Without access to the chicken yard, they didn’t know where to spend the night. Hopefully with a couple nights’ training, they’ll file into the chicken house to their roost at night just like the big chickens.)

Thank goodness I still have some babies! The little chicks held their own graduation, moving up from the brooder to the chicken yard, but they’re not ready for the wide open world yet. This group of 22 includes Silver-Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Americaunas, and a few latecomer Domineckers (Dominiques) we added in.
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They’ll be grown up before I know it, too! Sniffle.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 24, 2009  

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Comments

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  1. 5-24
    5:05
    am

    Oh so cute! The ducks look twice as big, but with all the fluff still. LOL I had a bit of a teary eye looking through the pics this morning. :hissyfit: They grow so fast!

  2. 5-24
    5:16
    am

    Those black babies are just adorable. :snuggle:

  3. 5-24
    5:18
    am

    Who is going to be doing the butchering of the chickens? If we decide to raise some meat birds we’ve found a guy who will come to the house and do them for like $2.50 per bird. He’s got some trailer set up for it.

    To catch the birds easily, get a fishing net. We use them all the time to catch the chickens, ducks, and geese that we have. The nets are priceless. We’ve gotten ours at garage sales.

  4. 5-24
    5:24
    am

    Butchering? Most of these are sexed and should be hens. We’re not butchering any of them!

  5. 5-24
    6:09
    am

    So this is why you went into the chicken business!! You can always have little ones, just keep graduations going…..unlike the kids! :lol:

    :duck: So cute :duck:

  6. 5-24
    7:03
    am

    How cute! We had our own graduation yesterday! Babies to brooder, older chicks to what I call the holding pen until they are big enough to join the older chicks and we have guineas hatching in the incubator this morning.

    You should get you some guineas Suzanne! I just love mine. They eat ticks and garden pests, pretend to be guard dogs and they are so much fun to watch.

    Love all your pics!

  7. 5-24
    7:52
    am

    We’ve been doing the chicken shuffle around here, too. They always crack me up when they encounter something new and different. I’m headbanging right along with you.

  8. 5-24
    9:09
    am

    Only you would have a chicken graduation. Where are their little gowns? What about caps? I’m surprised you didn’t have one of them give a speech! Well, Dookie could have given them a speech about going out into the world. Clover could have helped – she even has a tiara for the occasion.

    Why didn’t Morgan make little diplomas for them?

    And, aren’t you glad you cut down those tree stragglers? Your view is beautiful now.

    Have fun!!!

  9. 5-24
    9:19
    am

    We are having so much fun with our chickens too. My kids come home to find Mom and Dad in Lawn chairs watching chickens. My chicks will be some what urban chicks, and I want them out of the run into the yard. I don’t want them flying out cause there are to many dog wanting to eat them. Should I clip there wings?

  10. 5-24
    9:35
    am

    I don’t clip their wings–they don’t really fly much! In your situation, I guess it would depend on how high your fence is.

  11. 5-24
    11:07
    am

    Those poor ducks. they seem to be outnumbered and intimidated.

  12. 5-24
    11:40
    am

    Lots of graduating go on around your house. So enjoyable to read about. Keep up the good work. Loved Dookie’s speech!!!

  13. 5-24
    12:19
    pm

    Graduations always choke me up. To be thrust out into the cruel world. At least they have someone to watch over them. :snuggle:

  14. 5-24
    12:30
    pm

    I think some Pomp & Circumstance is in order around your house…so much graduation talk! :dancingmonster: :dancingmonster:

  15. 5-24
    1:15
    pm

    They do grow fast, don’t they?
    I really enjoy the pictures you post.

  16. 5-24
    2:13
    pm

    Suzanne, I just loved your vidio’s on u-tube. I just read your news letter……………you need to do some talking, they would be even more special……I love your blog……..

  17. 5-24
    9:23
    pm

    my sister had two very sad lonely ducks that she kept in a dog run, and when they had me housesit for a month, I lured the duckies into the enclosed garden area to eat bugs by taking all the food and water out of the cage at feeding time and putting it about a foot outside the door.

    It took them about an hour to actually step outside the cage for more than two seconds, but they did both eat and drink without heart attacks. And the next day they walked right out, even tho the food was a yard from the door. And they stayed out to enjoy the lovely organic slugs, with periodic hysterical retreats. “oh my god, that leaf blew around and tried to kill us! Help! Help! RUNNNNNNN!”

    In a few days the poor dears were hanging out in the furthest corners of the garden for minutes at a time, and only ran back in when I made threatening movements (as in, I walked in their direction). They are much happier ducks now, even tho my sister is convinced they will be eaten by hawks and eagles that will swoop into the tiny garden enclosed in 20 foot fencing with dogs next door, when there are hundreds of wild ducks on the lagoon nearby.

  18. 5-25
    2:52
    pm

    How many chickens will you have total? Our 10 (first chickens we’ve ever had) moved into the chicken yard yesterday but they’re still all closed up in a pen. Can’t have free range here in the city .. wish we could

  19. 5-25
    6:26
    pm

    Glad to see another generation of chickens joining the flock! I would definitely stew the bad rooster. But I guess I’m not sentimental about roosters. I had my grandparent’s rooster peck me and fly at me plenty of times… and hated that bird.

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