Rhode Island Red Chickens: Weeks 6-9

How time flies! I’ve been so busy with my girls I haven’t updated you guys in quite awhile. It’s been a few weeks since my girls officially outgrew their brooder and transferred outdoors to their coop & run. It’s been so much fun, let me tell you all about it!

Free ranging in the backyard

It was a bit of a challenge their first week outdoors, we couldn’t quite get a routine down. I now feel we’ve established our daily routine and it’s mutually beneficial. The day begins at 6:00 a.m., I proceed to open up the coop door, they all rush out, trampling each other like a stampede! I always check their feed container and their water, to make sure my girls are good for the day. During their day they enjoy jumping on their roost, sometimes 5 at a time. They also fly up on their tire and fight over who gets up on the tree stumps. They love to eat everything and anything in and on the ground. Then, around 8:30 p.m. when they lose daylight, they all climb on their ramp into the coop one-by-one. At first, I attempted to train them to go into the coop at the time I WANTED, that did not work out. They go in for the night when they’re ready. In my opinion, don’t try to force it, their natural instincts kick in to go perch at night.

Top perch is for the cool girls
Queen of the stump
In the run

During the day we try and release them from their run whenever possible to free range, they love to explore and eat any insect they could find. Free range chickens are happy chickens. Downside is, when they are out of the run my toddler likes to chase them and pick them up, so when they see him they run for their lives. To add to my worries, I also have a dog that wants the chickens for lunch! We alternate their free time outside to avoid any altercations. We want our girls safe at all times.

Just hangin’
Hey
Eat eat eat
Fly birdie

I would say the most valuable lesson I learned in the past few weeks is the stability of their run is crucial in a region where you get frequent thunderstorms with heavy wind gusts. The first week they were outdoors my poor girls learned how bad the storms can be. They were inside the run when a sudden storm hit with really bad wind gusts and their run lifted up right off the ground and flipped over, I ran outside with my daughter pulling it back down, so scared for my girls. Luckily, we were able to secure it to the ground and that was the day the chickens learned when they see rain, RUN inside the coop. I now put cinder blocks around the perimeter of the run to make sure it doesn’t flip ever again. And my girls learned to go in the coop for safety.

Rain, rain, go away

I’m excited to announce that we will soon be adding 15 more chicks to our flock, we decided to purchase Amber Star chicks. I did my research on the Amber Star, I learned they are a hybrid chicken from Rhode Island Red. Our RIR are full of such personality, and they are such great girls that I knew the Amber Star was for me. The Amber Stars are said to be docile and friendly and in addition are great brown egg layers. I’m extremely excited for their arrival the week of July 27th. We will be expanding their run and adding various accommodations for the new additions to our flock. I began by building a new brooder out of all scrap wood, that I will share with you all soon.

I’ll update y’all periodically and keep sharing our adventures with our girls and our new chicks arriving soon. Until next time.

Yum yum

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