The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Expanding the brood coop

Brood coop

Chicks on a logI've been expanding the chicks' home at intervals, most recently giving them free rein to explore half of the chicken coop on Friday.  My method lacks any hint of science.  Instead, I just give the chicks more room whenever they seem to be bored with their current setup.

Except for our homegrown chick, the young flock is easily spooked when I start moving things around.  They run into the corner and hide until I quiet down, then wait for the yellow chick to give them permission to go play.  When they do start moving, though, it's like a stampede --- 14 balls of fluff exploring every nook and cranny of their new home.

I've been very impressed by their budding foraging abilities already.  These chicks have caught a gnat out of the air, chased down a daddy-long-legs (then looked at it in confusion), and scratched through the loose debris on the top of the rotting log that makes up one side of their coop.  Although they're tiny, I'm seriously considering letting them run out to play with the rest of the chickens in a week or so.  Unless, that is, they decide they want to break out sooner --- homegrown already flew out of the chick area and back in once on Friday.

Chicks in a sunbeam

Our chicken waterer keeps the chicks healthy and prevents coccidiosis.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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