Teenage Chickens

They grow up so fast! Three and a half weeks ago we received 25 peeping fluffballs in the mail. Housed under a heat lamp in the living room, they were lovely for a week. Cute as can be. We separated the broiler chicks and laying hens into different boxes, as they eat different food.

A few days ago, they hit critical size. The contented murmur of warm, well fed chicks had turned into a near-constant proto-squawking. They were kicking up a layer of fine dust that infiltrated the entire apartment. I’d had enough. Off to college, kids.

We moved the broilers into the garage, with a kerosene heater keeping them above 60 degrees at night. While moving those chickens, it became very apparent that they were no longer house-pets. Widespread panic ensued as we transferred them to a box to be carried out back. Feathers flew through the glare of the heat lamp and clouds of dust roiled through the apartment as they squawked and flapped and leaped out of their brooder box in a frenzy, trying to avoid being scooped up. We rounded up the escapees from the kitchen floor, established them in their garage home, and swept up the pine shavings and chicken poo.

The layers stayed in the living room. Just five, and a finicky five at that. Temps in the house have been warm, plenty for the little peepers, so we started turning off the heatlamp at night. We discovered that, if you want to turn off a chicken, simply turn off the light. Well…perhaps not “simply”….because they raise a holy ruckus for the first five minutes of darkness! EEP! EEEP! EEP! EEEEP! They settle down soon enough, though…and seem to sleep well through the night.

Today we moved the whole lot out into the coop for a day of fresh air, exercise, and eating dirt. They are a joy to watch and interact with….especially in the backyard rather than living room. They’ll sleep well tonight!

They’re all in the garage now, and our house (cleaned for a new prospective tenant) is spotless. Apryle liked having them in the living room. I’m ok with them moving on.


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