Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Backyard Chicken series: Part 5-Outside Time

"Ahhhh, the great outdoors." I've heard this phrase a lot. Not sure if it is a quote, or a phrase, or maybe I just made it up all together? Who knows. All I know is that this small phrase is so so true for us humans, and even more so for the cute little chickies. When you first buy the chicks, as stated before in a few of my other posts (read part 1, 2, 3, or 4) they need to be inside with you. For the first week, they love it because it is warm and comfy. But, it is easy to tell that soon enough, they want to be outside where they are meant to be. They will start laying and the floor and stretching out their legs and wings. This is the best sign it is time to start doing "Outside Time", and they love it!

Outside time was great for the chickies and for the girls because it made sure that we got out at least once that day. The girls loved getting to go outside and NOT chase the chicks haha. They always want to chase the chicks which is a recipe for disaster---I know this from experience. My little cute chick was smashed when I was little from the excited running feet of a little kid. Not Fun! For the little kid or the chick. So our rule is always that when we are doing Outside Time you are not allowed to chase the chicks to try to catch them. If you want to hold them, you have to sit down and wait for them to climb up onto your lap, which they always eventually do. They love climbing all over the big protectors that feed them and keep them safe :)

They need to be able to go outside to not just stretch out, but practice what they are supposed to be learning. I.E. scratching. If you don't see your chicks scratching at all within a week or so, just show them how to do it with your finger. At first, they are so small it is hard for them to do in the grass and dirt, but they will still try. They will start learning how to use their wings to get from place to place, and they will start learning how to sense danger! Your chicks aren't going to die or not function correctly when you move them outside if you don't do outside time. Everything is innate---but I promise you that they will be better chickens and fulfill the measure of their creation if you let them enjoy their life and do the things they love: eating and being outside!