I got about half of the 50 running feet completely done (anchored top, middle and bottom), after anchoring the rest at the top I needed some reward. I fetched the chicks in their brooder and gave them their first taste of what will ultimately become their world.
Wanting to introduce them in the gentlest way possible, I set the brooder down inside the closed run, and opened the small hatch we use to coax them out for playtime. I left the run and stayed just outside to observe. Lucille, the New Hampshire Red (at least that's my name for her so far) showed no hesitation and hopped out to begin exploring her new digs. The others, not so much. Somehow it was not the celebratory dancing around and wing raising to the heavens that I had anticipated.
It took a few minutes for them to realize that they were indeed free to roam (a bit), and eventually all three were outside. But they were not at ease, and stuck close together as they pecked around at something that was, for the first time, not a painting drop cloth under their feet. It was real earth, and gravel, and tree flotsam, and lots of interesting things to peck.
It kept them busy for a few minutes, but very soon I noted that psycho chicken (not her given name at this point, but certainly a strong contender, and OMG check out that great Talking Heads cover video from the 80's!) had hopped back into the brooder cage. Soon to follow was Lucille, and finally my dear Princess (see prior disclaimer about names), and before I knew it, they had all called it a day and were ready to go back in the house.
Before they retreated I got a nice glam shot of my favorite princess, perched on yours truly, her favorite landing spot. Isn't her little comb just adorable? It's all fun and good until someone is covered in poop.
Well. I guess this Outdoors thing is going to have to go in stages if I hope to not completely destroy their tiny avian psyches. But I'm not dragging this out too long, as the LandLady is weary.
But on a bright note, I've been wondering if Psycho Chicken is one of the Easter Egger mutts, but I'm seeing signs of the pea comb and cheek tufts that would indicate she's a true Ameraucana instead. Cool! I'm not really concerned either way, and have always made room in my heart for mutts, but that does not excuse the general psychotic ranting and raving she's been doing. It's really starting to drive every creature in this house a bit mad.