Baby chicks get to free range

On June 22nd we started letting the small chicks out of their coop during the day. After several hours of them refusing to leave the safety of their home, I went out and sat in the chicken pen. One by one they plucked up their courage and ventured out. There were many episodes of chicken drama and freak-outs.

This chicken is supposed to be a Red Sex-Link. It is very friendly and brave. We are somewhat suspicious that it is a rooster. (If it’s a rooster, then it’s not a Red Sex-Link.)

This chicken is supposed to be a Rhode Island Red. I find this puzzling as our last Rhode Island Reds looked nothing like them in coloration. They were deep red with no light variations. These farm store chickens seem suspicious to me.

This chicken was one of the reduced price mystery chicks. It looks like our other Ameraucana hens.

This is one of the Welsummer chicks. They look spot on to pictures of the breed online so I feel pretty confidant they truly are Welsummers. They seem to be more hesitant (along with the Black Australorps) then the Rhode Island Reds and the Red Sex-Links.

The chicks have a lot of greenery to eat down. At first you could barely see them when they were wandering around in the tall weeds. Three weeks later, the pen is starting to look a little more trimmed.

They are enjoying their new found freedom everyday. Now when I open the door to their coop they all pile out anxious to start their day doing fun chicken stuff. We’ve been tracking our feed costs for this batch, and their feed consumption had dropped significantly since they were released.

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9 Responses to Baby chicks get to free range

  1. Heidi says:

    These are some very attractive chickens unless you photo shopped some of the pictures…..hmmmm now I’m suspicious.

    • lee says:

      Nope, no photoshopping. Except for obvious hoaxes, we don’t tamper with the blog photos beyond fixing the occasional white balance or contrast problem. Robin has been calling that chicken in the last picture “the pretty one” and remarking on it’s eyeliner for a couple months now.

  2. nice..I think that the chicken4.jpg is a RIR..I think that because it looks just like my RIR’s..the other one is more of a Rhode Island Strawberry Blonde..which gentlemen roosters typically prefer.

    Raising chickens was easier for us when things were not constantly trying to eat them!

    • lee says:

      If I saw this one by itself I would also say it’s a RIR, but we’re almost certain it’s a Welsummer. We bought the Welsummers from a farm store that didn’t mix up all their chicks. Apparently Welsummers were bred partly from RIR, which would explain the resemblance. A Rhode Island Strawberry Blonde, eh? What will Evil the rooster think ….

      Yeah, the problem with chickens is that so many things think they taste delicious. We’ve just been fortunate so far.

  3. Ginger says:

    So did you put all the troublesmome Lakevelders in the freezer? I ended up with one in a mixed bag. While not noisy, it certainly doesn’t like people. On your RIR, mine have always started off light and spotty looking and developed into the coppery brown.

    No Sussex? You were pretty focused on getting one, or did my stories of our very bossy, noisy Sussex scare you off?

    Your girls look happy and great.

    • lee says:

      We still have the annoying little white chickens. They do get calmer with age, although not friendly by any means. Our new pullets haven’t quite started laying yet. When they do, we will see if we can sell or give away the Lakenvelders. For us, the biggest problem was really the tiny eggs. They appear to be hardy and good at free ranging, but it’s hard to sell such small eggs (especially in contrast to Araucana eggs).

      There weren’t any Sussex chickens available at the local farm stores when we went looking. If there had been, we would probably have 2 more chickens. Robin wanted to try lots of different breeds this year.

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  6. Eric says:

    I would like to add for those of you considering raising chickens in the country that we found guineas to be very good watchdogs for the flock. We have a very large number of both hawks and owls where we live and the guineas will raise a big loud alarm when the predators are near alerting the flock to run for safety. Before we got guineas we had hawks carry full grown hens into the sky and fly off with them while we were within 75 feet of the chickens. I’ll throw in one more thought on poultry, add a couple young ducks to your flock for entertainment, they will keep you and the kids laughing.

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