Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chick Sitting!

Going on vacation and don't know what to do with your _________ (insert your livestock/pet here).  We can probably help you, here at Aagaard Farms.  A few goats to play with ours?  A donkey or horse would fit in.  We could do a few cows, if you can get them here!  We do babysit friends' dogs, we can handle a cat or two.  We've gone down and looked after our neighbors' chickens so they could get away.  First time, though, anybody asked us to babysit their chickens.  Our former employee Jami gave her first shot at chicks this Spring and wasn't sure what to do with them when a chance at summer vacation came along.  Doesn't sound like anybody close to the family's land was up for going over to let them out in the morning and going back at night to tuck them in.  So she contacted us about bringing them here.  Sure, why not, what's five more? we said.  Just have to be careful about how you do it.  Chickens will fight; we've been careful about keeping our older Hens and Rocky separate from The Chicks.  Yes, they all mingle a bit in the pasture now, but Rocky might have beaten up on a couple of the young roosters had we tried to integrate the flocks earlier.

Jami's five little Browns are just a week or two younger than our Chicks.  What we did is set Jami's Chicks up in the barn, half way between the chicken coop with The Hens and the greenhouse with The Chicks.    We kept them contained in the barn the first two days so that they would understand that that was their space.  We used a large dog kennel to protect them from the barn cats at night, just in case.  We pushed some large sticks through the wire of the kennel for roosts.  Second night, at bedtime for the goats, we ushered them toward the dog kennel and they went right in!  Today, we took away the barrier at the barn door so they could get out and about.  They're timid, and not straying far from the barn door, but they're getting some natural peckin'-and-scratchin' in and a little bit of this lovely sunshine!


  1. LOL, I've never heard of chicken sitting but what a great idea! I have a hard enough time finding someone to look after our cats and often wondered what people with hobby farms and livestock did when they went away.