Movin' on Up!

Baby Barred Rock/Ameraucana hatchlings hang outside under a heatlamp Tuesday night.
It was almost two months ago when our first hatchling appeared out of an egg inside the incubator we set up at Better Farm
On Tuesday, that Barred Rock/Ameraucana bird—along with his or her seven brothers and sisters—moved on up from a metal trough indoors to outdoor surroundings in a chicken tractor that utilizes a heat lamp at night to help the babies acclimate to their cooler surroundings.

Here are the babies around a week old:

And here they are yesterday, running around in their new chicken tractor:
All eight baby birds appear perfectly healthy, and are enjoying their piece of the pie! The chicks are exploring the very new experience of grazing on their grassy underfootings, catching moths, flies, and other bugs out of the air, and seeing the whole world for the first time. By day, they're learning to use perches and scratch for grubs; by night, they lay under the heat lamp in a huddle and make low chirping sounds.

For those of you raising your own chicks, you don't want to put them outside until their "adult" feathers have come in—and you don't want to introduce them to the rest of the flock until their voices lose the chirpiness of chicks and adjust to the warble of adult hens and roosters (usually around three or four months). It's best to time your egg hatching accordingly so the birds can acclimate to outdoor temperatures in a healthy way.

Want to learn more about backyard birdkeeping, or visit with these wonderful creatures? Give us a call at (315) 482-2536.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.