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Chickens Transitioning to Outdoor Coop

This is the first week
the chickens in the barn
have been let out;
the time the youngest ones
graduate from their indoor brooder
to their outdoor digs.
The youngest
will stay in the outdoor coop
until they’re oriented to it
and we’re sure they’re as safe
as possible
from predators.

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The barn chickens
are new to the Alpaca pasture.
It’s time:
it’s warm enough;
they’re old enough;
they’re oriented to their roost
in the barn; it’s home.
Outside, there’s not much new growth,
not many bugs
yet,
but they seem to like
taking walkabouts
in the alpaca pasture,
pecking at tiny pebbles,
seeing what they can find.
They are out with alpacas
and goats,
who are accustomed to chickens
and guineas,
and tend to ignore them.
The guineas
haven’t yet figured out
that they can go outside.
We’ve devised a new opening
this year—
one that allows the birds to go out
while keeping the rabbits
in the barn (we hope.)
It may take awhile
for the guineas
to get the hang of it—
and even longer
to get them to go back in
through that new doorway.
The chickens still have much
they haven’t discovered in the great outdoors.
They haven’t ventured all the way
around the alpaca pen
into the goats’ area,
rich with a winter’s worth
of goat droppings—
a treasure for chickens.
Oh, the surprises
that await!