I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since we decided on doing meat birds. These chicks have been in the brooder for 3 weeks and growing like crazy. They were ready to get out and stretch their legs. All of the poultry farmers I follow have talked about this day, being their favorite day. It did not disappoint.
Watching these guys see their first grass, run and jump around was really fun to watch. Perhaps the true delight was watching them just be chickens. Scratching around and pecking on grass. They were timid at first but it didn’t take long before they were running all over the chicken tractor.
The tractor we built was inspired by John Suscovich, from Farm Marketing Solutions. It’s light and easy to move, yet keeps them safe from predators. We also made the same waterer he uses, using a 5 gallon bucket and putting on some nipples. Chickens are naturally curious, so watching them learn to peck it and get water was really simple, and cute! We will be building more of these.
I have been trying so hard not to get attached to these birds, since in a couple months they will have to serve their purpose, but that is proving to be harder than I thought. Chickens are my favorite. Their quarks, the way they act, make them so adorable to me. Observing these birds express their chicken-ness, made me feel a twinge of guilt. But, thinking of the chicken on my plate now, where they likely have never seen the light of day or have never seen a blade of grass. I try to take comfort in knowing that my birds will have happy lives.
I will give updates as time goes on, on things that work and what doesn’t.