Today I put the finishing touches on the chicken run. Paula cleaned out the building that will serve as the coop while I finished putting the gate on. We put the perch in there, carried the chickens outside in laundry baskets, and hung up the brooder heat lamp. I got bigger feeder and waterer and set those up, and Paula went and got more corncob bedding to put down on the floor. So the chickens our our of our home and into their home.
And it was about time. They got to the point where they could fly out of the wading pool even with the 12" cardboard walls surrounding it. This morning one of them was running around the living room chirping because it was lost and couldn't get back in the pool. Later in the morning I saw a couple of them fly out when they got excited about something. They also started to do a little picking on one of the Buff Orpingtons, which meant it was time for them to get more space per bird.
Of course, now that they have so much more room, I went out to take pictures and they are all huddled together in the corner. When we got home from dinner, I peeked in the side window and they were all laying down right under the brooder lamp. But they have the space if they need it, so I feel better. And they aren't running around in my living room, so my wife feels better.
By the end of May they should be right about eatin' size, and it will be time to fire up the grill and have some friends over. Nice and fresh.
I still need to build or buy nest boxes, but I should have a few weeks before they get to that point, so it isn't an emergency yet.