The young chickens are now almost seven weeks old and it was high time to get them out of my basement. Too much dust, noise and chicken stink!
I was able to finish most of their brooder/mini coop today and they will be living outdoors from now on. I decided to add a floor since I don’t want rodents sneaking in and it’s always a good idea to have some ventilation underneath. Part of the floor is recessed with a solid bottom, and that area will contain bedding, the perch and food bowls with a solid roof covering it. The front ‘patio’ area has a mesh floor and will have a mesh roof that flips up on hinges. The solid roof will also be on hinges for maintenance. I still need to cut my piece of roofing and attach hinges so for now I have it wrapped in a tarp.
The little attached run area will be where they spend their days in nice weather. Four Welsummer roos have already been sent to freezer camp, and I am now down to 16 birds. Pretty confident about two Cochin roos, and possibly a few more. They’ll be off to camp as soon as I know for sure.
Since I’m raising the two breeds side by side, I’ve noticed some differences. The Welsummers are calmer, quieter and smarter. They figured out the roost first, and they tend not to squawk bloody murder like the Cochin/Brahmas when I pick them up. I definitely prefer quiet hens so this is a great development. All the Welsummer roos that I identified as chicks did indeed turn out to be males and that’s excellent as well. If I hatch them again I’ll be more confident about culling them without having to wait 5-6 weeks for secondary characteristics.
I leave you with a gratuitous shot of fluffy seven week old chicken butts…