When last we checked in on the chicks, they were little fluff balls, spending their early days pecking and eating, pecking and eating inside the comfy cocoon of the greenhouse. In just a few weeks, they’ve filled out nicely. What’s more, they’re displaying extraordinary vigor in their every act. They move together in unison, with the urgency and precision of a military patrol, to the point where we’re calling them our “chicken commandos.”
But now it was time to nudge them from the security of the greenhouse and into the portable chicken coop that will be their home. We backed the coop to the greenhouse door, slid open the hatch and waited. With characteristic pluck and an alarming lack of caution, the commandos marched right in. Immediately, they realized the wisdom of their collective decision. Real grass. Real bugs. A real 70-degree breeze. It’s good to be a chicken.
No sign of natural predators yet, though Freckles, the Great Pyrenees pup, needed a few reprimands when she swiped at the coop with her large white paw. The cats were all inside the house, by design. There is no doubt in our minds that given half a chance, cute kitties will transform into chicken-munching carnivores in seconds.
By mid-afternoon, after six hours of scratching at the ground, catching bugs and sitting proudly atop their roost, four tired Rhode Island Red chicks filed happily into the greenhouse for the evening. We’re expecting some long-overdue rain in the morning, but no doubt on Tuesday they’ll be back out in the coop, practicing maneuvers.