Okay, so we don’t have barn, we have a garage. But we live in the middle of a city and this is my little homestead so just humor me. Today I needed to clean out the chick brooder and to be honest, I was kind of freaked out because those itty bitty flufferballs are now gigantic tiny dinosaurs, and a few days ago Jingle flew right out of the brooder while I had the top off! Thankfully, she was a bit stunned by what she had just done and all the new sights, so I caught her easily. But the next time I took the top off, she was poised on top of the heater, ready for flight, and I literally had to tap her back inside.
The first thing I did when I took off the top was to take out the heater and their perch, to eliminate any flight height assistance! I managed to catch each one and put them into the dog carrier with a little bowl of food.
Cleaning the brooder reminded me of cleaning horse stalls (on a very tiny scale, obvs), a chore I never actually minded and there is nothing so satisfying as the scent of fresh white pine shavings. The chicks acted quite affronted by their new, clean environment, I can definitely see how chickens’ belief that the sky is falling is a well-earned stereotype. But they quickly settled under their heater for a little nap.
The girls love helping with the chicks, and while their “help” takes twice a long, I love how much they want to be involved. They beg to go into the garage constantly just to watch the chicks, and swell with pride when I let them fill the feeder or spread the shavings around. I will have little farmers on my hands yet 😉