Yesterday we finally repatriated the chicks--okay, pullets--that we had been raising in our attic brooder area since my stepsister gave them to us at Thanksgiving. We had been wanting to move them outdoors (for what I think are probably pretty obvious reasons--phew!), but we weren't sure how they would manage in the winter weather. One answer would have been to finish the second chicken house we have planned for spring, but we just hadn't had time to get started.
So the s.o. and I were brainstorming.
"What about that old bathroom vanity?"
"Let's look at it. Oh, it's perfect! But it's pretty small. They'd need to have space to roam during the daytime. And would it be secure enough?"
"I could build more onto it."
"Then we almost might as well build the whole chicken house."
"Hey, wait. What if we put it in the greenhouse and chickenwired off an area for them to peck around?"
We looked at each other and grinned. Perfect! And it would also solve the problem of the weeds I had carelessly allowed to grow in the half of the greenhouse I wasn't currently using--it would be instant pasture. Granted, I'd be giving up a lot of space for my early crops, but then again, it's been so warm that I guess I might as well plant my first round of peas outdoors anyway. And it goes without saying that the chicken manure will enrich the soil for the future.
So out they went, with a brooder light for extra security on chilly nights. They stood around for a while in confusion, then quickly started doing Chicken Things.
If anyone can remember seeing a chickens-in-the-greenhouse arrangement on someone's blog, please tell me. I'm almost certain I saw it online somewhere.
In other news, my second winter rye poultry pasture is growing like gangbusters. The grown-up chickens can't wait to get in there.