Thursday, June 13, 2013


Our chicks have been growing. At about 3 weeks old they had begun to flap their wings and jump enough to perch on the edge of the box. I pinned some plastic netting to the box to keep them from getting lose in the garage. They gradually lost their cuteness and their downy feathers and entered the awkward teen stage with real feathers and sharp claws. Boredom began to set in, and they started trying to peck their way out. So by 5 weeks, it was time to move them.

At the suggestion of my chicken book, we have bought ElectroNet fencing. We have started out by buying two 50-foot lengths, and one 100-foot length with a solar charger.  I asked Tevia to modify the coop slightly by removing the poop tray and adding another 6-8 inches height. He did this using some of the old deck boards since I wasn't fussy about what it looked like. I wanted the extra room for deep litter. Then Guv'nor added some hardware cloth to the bottom for added security to keep unwanted animals out.We chose a space behind the house to set the coop and the fencing.

We weren't sure how to move the chicks to their new home. So one evening, with the help of the whole family, we each grabbed a chick and walked it down to the coop. The guys even moved most of the litter from the box down to the coop. Amazingly, it didn't smell and is still good to use. The first few nights I was careful to make sure they were all inside the coop and locked up tight. But since then, I've just let them do their own thing in the safety of the fencing.

So far so good until this morning when I found one of the chicks dead, apparently electrocuted from the fencing. We are told the current isn't high enough to kill a chicken. So we think it got stuck and received repeated pulses of the current. So we're down to 15 chick-teens now. We're still not sure how many roosters and hens we have. Hopefully it will become obvious soon.

If you look carefully, you can see the removable poop tray at the bottom.

Have I mentioned lately how good this book is? Well worth the price and the time spent reading it.

Here are the chicks at 4 weeks under the netting. I had to get a bigger feeder.

We chose behind the house as our first chicken location. The coop is small enough to move around.

We all grabbed a chick and carried it down to the coop.

The chicks love all their open space, but tend to cluster together.

The waterer is hanging from a saw horse.

Their favorite time of day seems to be at dusk when it's cooler.

I started giving them bigger food.


  1. Are they eventually going to free range?

    I lost 3 of mine last night and they were in a wire/wood framed cage! 2 the night before.
    Once a varmint knows they are there, make sure you keep them locked in their house at night.

    1. Yes. They are free ranging in the safety of the netting. We plan to expand and rotate their area as they grow.