These are the three little chickies that must be gathered up every night as the sun goes down because their mama flies up into a tree, leaving them prey to the foxes and opossums that have begun to prowl the buck shed and old milker shed since we moved the milkers up closer to the house and their guard dog came with them. I didn’t realize how many species of sharp-toothed wildlife Malachi was keeping at bay at night with his barking and patrolling the fenceline until we moved him out of that area. Now he and the milking girls have a much bigger pasture but the poor chickens have been left unguarded.
All the chickens are free range, but at one time I kept them locked in a yard with a shed until the baby goats tore up the chicken wire run. (Chicken wire and goats do NOT mix!) The chickens still roost near the old shed, but use the trees now and not the shed and I can’t seem to talk them into roosting in the old milker shed at night…which is nearly predator proof.
So, baby chicks have to start fending for themselves just as soon as they are feathered and their mama’s think they should be able to jump up into the trees with them. It happens with every clutch of chicks without casualties. Until now.
So, for a while I get gather them up at around 5:30pm, which is when mama hen jumps into a tree, and bring them up to the house for a safe nights sleep.