When Drew and I brought home the chicks, we intended to let them free range in the backyard as soon as they were big enough. Unfortunately the next month a red tailed hawk took up residence in our neighbor’s spruce tree. Cynthia warned us she’d seen him make off with squirrels and full grown rabbits; our bantams wouldn’t stand a chance.
We decided to leave them in the coop/run until we could build a chicken tractor (think: a roofed play pen you can drag around the yard so they don’t kill the grass in any given spot). Well, a certain newborn got in the way of that project.
Finally last night we decided, enough is enough. The tractor may never get built, and these birds need to live a little. So we had dinner outside and supervised their first foray into the great unknown.
I introduced Junip to the ladies, but neither party was terribly interested in the other.
The ladies stayed relatively close to the coop, and were pretty easy to shepherd back in for the night. I still don’t think we’ll be letting them wander the yard without a human out there to watch, but I’m glad they’re getting a taste of freedom, at least.