The Chicks Venture Forth

The brooder, which only four weeks ago provided spacious accommodations for twenty-six chicks, now looks full.

full brooder

Currently, the chicks show no signs of aggression or feather picking, but kept in such close confines that will change. They’re no longer downy fluff balls. Most have an outer coat of hard feathers, so they still need heat, but they don’t have to be under the lamp all day. It’s time to expand their horizons.

I closed up the Old Girls in their run, and left them with food and water.

old hens

Steve cut a doorway between the brooder and the coop. I opened it up. New things are scary.

group inside

Who will be the first chick to step out? The Buff Orpington, true to her breed, is calm and trusting.


The little Ameracauna that I call “Owly” was close behind.


To encourage the chicks to venture forth, I put the their food and water, and a dandelion clump, into the Little Barn coop. That wasn’t enough for some of the more timid birds, so I confess to herding them out of their secure and familiar brooder and into the unknown. The Blue Andalusian cockerel wasn’t the boldest, but somehow he does take up the forefront in many of my photographs.

group at door

Quite quickly the chicks overcame their wariness and explored this new environment. They enjoyed scratching in the sand.

sand box

You can see how secure they felt by how spread out they were.

spread out

While they were enjoying their new surroundings, I cleaned out the brooder and put down fresh shavings. Chicks poop a lot and create a tremendous amount of dust that is mostly composed of fine particles of manure and feathers. I don’t want them breathing that in. Then I spent some time sitting amongst them. Chickens are innately curious beings. This Dominique checked out my shoe.


It was all quite tiring! But that was okay. A nap can be taken anywhere.


Yesterday the chicks spent the day outdoors! More about that adventure in another post.


  1. Fabulous pics and update. Thanks. The real question is how did you get them back in after their day in the run?

    • I picked each one up, held her until she calmed down, and then put her back in the brooder. BTW, I never put down a peeping, struggling chick. They learn that when they’re calm, they get what they want (in this case, to go back with the others.) Sometimes that change of attitude takes 15 seconds.

    • Yes, it is. You can see their dark reddish head and neck feathers coming in. Funnily, the Black Stars’ tails are growing in slower than the other chicks.

  2. Our family checked in on the “goings on” at Little Pond often all weekend. We especially loved watching the chicks yesterday. They seemed to love being outside. We watched them fly. Saw some of your participants from your class pet the goats. All so interesting. How your going to pick and choose your chicks from the lot is beyond me. They all are so adorable. If I didn’t love the name Little pond so much, I would suggest calling your place “Paradise”. Little Pond is a great name…..Oh, and the little pond is very pretty and peaceful, too.

    • It was an eventful weekend! The weather is supposed to be sunny and 70s all week. The chicks will be out again later. Stay tuned!

  3. I love this time in the chicks’ lives, watching them experience the bigger world and so many new things. We have earwigs here and I would enjoy putting a few in with the chicks so they could experience bugs. They are just the most interesting little creatures and I never imagined I would enjoy them so much.

  4. I checked in Sunday afternoon and discovered the chicks discovering a new world. It was then easier to see how big they’ve gotten and how grown up they look. Missed the interaction between the seminar attendees and the goats. But always something interesting whenever I look. Thanks, Terry and Steve.

  5. Little Owly is so homely she’s cute. And she’ll lay those gorgeous blue green eggs. Wonderful.

  6. When I got my dominiques last summer Dotty was a month old and Pepper two months old so it is lovely seeing your little dominique now at a month old. I had to get my photos out and compare! Such a sweet reminder of how she looked back then. I think this is such a lovely age in the chicks life.

  7. I love watching chicks venture forth for the first time! It always amazes me when they go from ‘timid’ to ‘chickeny’. love it!

  8. It’s really fun watching the babies on the hencam today. Some napping in the sun, some trying out their wings. They must be so happy out there!

    • They are happy. Not even 5 weeks old, so those of you planning on getting chicks, you’d better have your coop and fencing up before the babies come, because they’ll have to be outside sooner than you think!

      • Mine are a week old today. They are in my house and I am pretty sure they are headed out to the coop next weekend. I’ve never brood them outside and I’m a little nervous but I have a secure coop, no drafts, heat lamp etc…
        We added on to our existing coop so the chicks will live in the addition. ( which is still closed off to the other section) Do you think the peeping will drive my older hens crazy being that they will hear and smell them, but not be able to ‘see’ them? I’m giggling just thinking about it, honestly. Like annoying neighbors. ;)

        • My old girls don’t give a whit about them, but they are very old ladies. The Gems don’t seem interested, either.

  9. OMG! I see the babies out on the hen cam. They are so big now!!! I can’t get over how fast they grow!!!

  10. Hey Terry, I just saw you on the HenCam, taking pictures of the chicks! They sure move fast-! :-)

  11. It looks like those little chickens are jumping onto the feed bucket! I cannot tell if any have fallen in it. The hens looks so funny standing on the other side of the fence watching the chicks.

  12. This reminds me of the theme song for Milo and Otis. “Oh we’re gonna take a walk outside today, gonna see what we can find today….” :-)

  13. i just ate my lunch watching you get all of the chicks on via the hencam! too funny! I was just sitting here cracking up and remembering when i took the my 10 girls out to play! only you had way more to herd in! oh! i was worried that you’d leave that cute little stool out there to get pooped on! thanks for the laugh :)

    • Ha! I had been checking in regularly hoping I would see Terry wrangling the chicks. Darn. ;)

      • My teenage son was inside the coop. I handed him each chick through the pop door and he put them in the brooder. The Delawares are the calmest hens, by far.

      • I’ve heard about herding cats…but, oh, my those chicks really give you a cardio work out! And now they are all asleep, a big day of How To Be A Chicken under their wings. Adorable.

  14. Looks like the little ones are tuckered out from the big adventure outside. What a great afternoon of HenCam.

  15. Well, this was an exciting day! A day to put the “big girl panties” on (so to speak), and explore the big world, complete with outdoor photo ops, quick naps in the sun, scratching in the dust, meeting the goat neighbors… busy, busy, busy… and all very tiring. It was fun watching you snap pics of them. Ha! They certainly aren’t interested in standing still to pose! Sorry I missed the chick-rangling. I’ll look for it again tomorrow. Sounds like quite the production! I am so loving this.

  16. Aww. goth chicks are still slow cute! Thanks for sharing! I’m learning a lot. ;)

  17. I meant to say gosh the chicks are still so cute! Sorry. (Long day at work.)

    • The Black Stars are certainly not “slow” :) They’re speedy little girls. Oddly, they’re the last ones to get tail feathers and do look very goth. But, look closely and you can see their mature reddish head and neck feathers growing in.

  18. I loved my Black Star, she was an amazing bird, Unfortunatley she dies young I am certain she laid her self to death, she was an egg laying machine….

    • My Black Star also died young. The egg laying depletes them. But, they’re wonderful birds. Haven’t yet decided which chicks will go to the nursing home.

  19. EXCITMENT! Old and young together this morning! Thanks for the front row seat.