Monday, August 11, 2014

Supervised Outing

De and I gave the chickens a bit of a supervised outing this evening.  I'd heard on a recent 'The Survival Podcast" episode that a good time to let them out for the first time was a short while before they went into the coop for the night.  I did this yesterday but was a bit late and most of them were already in for the night when I opened the gate to the run.  Tonight we opened the gate around 7:30 and they went in for the night around 9:00.  It was quite a good time for them and us!

Bugs were chased and caught, a number of the little bitty frogs we have so many of this year (does anyone else have these?) met an early demise, and a good part of yard was looked over.  Mostly though they hung around the outsite of the run and just acted like chickens.  Zyla the dog (who proved herself to be a bit less than completely trustworthy with the birds) and I made sure they didn't find their way into the garden.

First real "free-ranging" outside the run.
The whole thing made Fred the Rooster a little nervous and he spent part of his time herding hens back toward the run.

He was definitely watching our for his girls, who were clearly enjoying themselves.
It was supervised outing, with De and Zyla the dog (on the leash) sharing in the supervisory duties

Zyla did get one little nip at tailfeathers of one bird before there was a correction.  Overall she was pretty good considering the hens got right in her face.

De worked at getting some close-up pics of Fred.  The evening light really brought out his colors.

Electra "photo-bombed" one shot.

She finally got the shot!

Lessons Learned:
  • Evening is a good time for supervised outings.
  • Zyla the dog and Abby the cat will NOT get the keys to the Crooked House Layers Club.
  • Teaching the birds to come when called (at first using some scratch as a reward) makes it easy to have the birds out of the run and handle them well.
  • Fred has the early appearance of becoming a good roo for the flock.
  • They really are entertaining!
Col. 1:9-12,


1 comment:

  1. Fred definitely sounds like a good roo! Glad to hear your flock is getting out now. They love it and it's so good for them too. Good idea about doing it at bedtime. Otherwise they might not want to go in!