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

Getting in out of the rain

Chicks hiding under the brooder

I really know better than letting 2.5-week-old chicks out of their brooder on a rainy day. But our Red Rangers are so industrious, and they run back into the brooder every night on their own, so I figured they were smart enough to come in out of the rain.

Wrong! Instead, when drops started to fall, the chicks holed up underneath the brooder. That worked okay until water started splashing in and the fluffballs got chilled. At which point I rushed out in the wet to try to herd them up into the dry.

Wet chicksThis operation would have gone more smoothly had Mark been home. But he was away at school, which reduces my chicken-herding abilities by about 1,000%.

So I chased the boys out from under the brooder...and they took cover beneath a bush. Then I chased them away from the bush, at which point half ran up the ramp and the other half ran back under the brooder. In the end, I was stuck capturing the less domesticated chicks one by one on my hands and knees on the wet grass.

Looking at this after picture, I realize that the chicks really weren't all that damp anyway. And since the rain stopped an hour later, I might have gotten away with leaving them alone.

Instead, I'm the one who got soaked to the bone. Good thing my thermoregulation skills are vastly superior to those of half-feathered chicks, so we all dried off with no ill effects.

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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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My ladies still haven't learned to get in out out the rain . Although they have an 8x16 tractor readily available I think they enjoy the rain particularly in the hot Texas summer. The only time they go in is to eat, sleep and lay an egg. I guess the bug population is active in the rain as well.
Comment by Tom Sun Sep 13 07:17:23 2015

Had a good laugh at your chicken chasing-

I was gifted three Bantam/gamehen mixes ("Baynies" as they say in Wise) by my in laws Labor day holiday and we brought them home to Savannah GA to integrate them with our bigger hens.... my 8 year old let them out when I had purposely put them in a pen while I was at work, and one of them got out of our privacy fenced yard while our big hens won't go through the holes.

After getting home from work, I found one missing. She was innocently grazing in an adjacent neighbor's wooded lot after popping through a 4" hole in the privacy fence. After 45 minutes of myself and my son with fishing nets trying to catch this elusive foul, we finally got her in back in the yard, with the two of us bleeding, soaked from the mud and 85 degrees with high humidity!

These may go back to Wise county, I have only a small pen to keep them separate from the larger tamer foul, and I can't let them free range without a LOT of fence work I don't want to do. Takes about a dozen of those radish size eggs for an omlette too. :)

Comment by Eric Sun Sep 13 10:06:41 2015

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