Ever since I got home from my trip, on the nicer evenings Cricket can be seen doing this:
Do you have an idea what she is looking at? Her nose is twitching as well and we figured out that she was watching the chickens in their new little yard.
She would spend quite a long time just standing there watching them. We decided she might be ready to meet them, so we put her on a leash and walked her over there. We wondered how they would all react. The truth? It was kind of anti-climatic. Once we got her over there, she didn’t pay much attention to the chickens at all! They were curious about her, and not afraid. One of the reasons we have hesitated to introduce the dogs to them was that we didn’t want to scare them. Cricket was so disinterested they weren’t scared at all of her.
It is wise to be cautious with dogs and chickens, because dogs can be predators to them. Since we plan to free range ours once they’re grown up, we hope that the dogs will be OK with them. The dogs are always safely inside their yard or on a leash, but we don’t want Luke to be barking every time he sees them.
Luke has joined his sister in watching them from the deck, but hasn’t shown much interest really. Luke reacts to just about everything, so we want to be especially cautious with him. I think it’s best to let him get a bit used to them from a distance, and to take him closer more gradually than we did with Cricket. We will let you know how it goes when it happens, which should be soon!
Meanwhile, the chicks are loving their new coop and yard! They have places to roost inside the coop, and we give them different vegetables, fruits, and weeds to play with at times.
They come outside as they please (when we’re home). They were quite cautious at first but seem to be coming out more and more all the time. They are so fun to watch. They dart and fly around (lowly), and tend to copy each other. If one comes out, others will follow, and if one runs back in suddenly, most times the others will as well!
They have their favorite spot just outside their door where they like to take “dust baths”. Sometimes they get so dug down in the hole, we have to make them move to make sure they’re OK!
It is fun to see them sticking together as seen below. When it’s cooler you think they might huddle together for warmth, but they do this even when it’s warm. It’s good to know they all get along well; especially since we had some issues when they were still in the house. Luckily those issues were resolved once we expanded their space and separated some for a bit.
For now, we’ll do our best to keep them healthy, growing and safe, and hopefully we’ll be seeing some of those fresh eggs by autumn!