The girls have been moved into their coop full-time now. They’re just about fully feathered now, and they were telling me as clearly as chickens can (pretty clearly, actually!) that they were sick of the brooder box. Most domestic animals, I think, are basically good at communicating their needs to humans: it’s kind of a prerequisite for making the whole thing work. Anyway, the chicks were flapping all around in their box, roosting on the side and pooping on our floor, squawking loudly to be taken outside at the break of dawn, and scolding and haranguing me at night when I brought them back in. They seem much happier now that they’re in the coop full-time.
I’m starting to let them go out a bit in the larger yard, too, as you can see. But they’re still quite little, and I’m concerned about roaming cats. So they won’t get to be outside without supervision until they’ve grown up. Eventually they’ll have the run of the backyard all day long. The fun thing about chickens is that they put themselves away at night—when the sun goes down, they file back into their coop, no chasing or herding required. They are little homebodies at heart.
Here’s a close-up of their beautiful feathering: