And they’re out!
For a full year, these chickens have been confined to their chicken house and chicken yard. A year of hard time, breaking rocks, and longing to be free.
Okay, I don’t think they broke any rocks.
They did break a couple eggs one time.
They couldn’t believe the door to the chicken house was propped open. They were sure someone had made a mistake.
They hesitantly poked their heads out, then started popping from the chicken house. One, then two, then three, then all.
Well, Mean Rooster hung back a bit.
He was thinking about the change this was going to make in his life. How he’d ruled their chicken cell block and how he’d lose control of his minions. A dark overlord without a dark realm.
He finally gave in to the inevitable loss of power and came into the light.
Plan B: Take over the world!
Mean Rooster wasn’t actually the last bird out of the chicken house.
That would be my timid ducks.
They had to be coaxed out. And kinda pushed.
The merry band of chickens stuck together, pecking and exploring.
Everyone in the goat yard was excited about the new visitors at the fenceline.
The ducks, released from their chicken tyranny, headed for the hills to stake out their own territory. (They have yet to discover the pond.)
At night, they all come home to sleep in their chicken house again, tempted within by their comfy roost and their feed and the promise of safety. Free-ranging does put them at some risk (thus the mass addition of over 30 new chicks this spring), but it also provides them a natural diet in addition to their feed and the opportunity to get out in the fresh grass, out of the endless mud of the chicken yard. Healthier chickens, better eggs.
The big chicks have the chicken yard all to themselves.
The little chicks are in the brooder (under the red heat lamp).
The ducklings have their own, separate, brooder.
Some day, yes, some day, they will all be together. When they’re all grown up and ready for the wide open world our big chickens are just beginning to know.
Maybe, even maybe, some day they will be in the road.
Or, you know, at least my driveway.