New chickens, New digs - New lease on life
Our newest flock of laying birds are officially out to pasture at one of our other properties. They are enjoying their refurbished digs, and are picking up on the concepts of being pasture birds. These particular birds are a commercial brown egg laying breed that has gotten a new lease on life in the great outdoors on our farm. While the grower we purchased them from was certified Organic, they still would have spent their days in battery cages that only allowed 67 square inches per bird. Need some perspective? That's roughly 8 inches x 8 inches... so less space than a regular sheet of paper laid flat! Needless to say their current situation allows them loads of room, fresh air and bugs.
It has been really interesting to see them learn how to find the nesting box, begin to scratch the ground to find seeds and bugs, and really find true joy in chasing grasshoppers! Their eggs were the first thing to improve, and now we are seeing their feathers beginning to look a lot healthier. They still haven't quite figured out the roosting thing, but they are ALL ABOUT following the cows around. They can often be found hanging out with the cattle herd in their allotted section of pasture. The calves are genuinely intrigued by the hens and love playing with them.
It's pretty cool to watch the change in these hens as they re-learn what it means to be a chicken.