It was a good feeling to have them go out, let me tell you. All they have done so far is eat and drink and sleep. They eat two quarts of food a day (two of those little feeders with the holes--you know which ones I mean?) and they drink a gallon of water a day. And they sleep flat with their heads in the wood chips of their brooder.
And that's it.
It seems like a crappy life to me, though I know that already they have it better than the poor chickens in a CAFO. I'm so used to the layer chicks, who perch and jump and scratch in the chips and talk and talk. These guys do none of that.
So in order to make their lives a little better right now, I brought them outside. Eventually, they will live outside 24/7 and free range, but they're a little young for that just now and the weather is a little too cool. But today was beautifully warm, so I placed them in the chicken tractor contraption I use for so many of our animals-chicks, ducklings, rabbits (but not goslings, because they HATE it). That thing has paid for itself 200 times over. I can put anyone in there and walk away, it's beautiful. Anyway, I put them in the tractor thing, and figured they'd all cluster on top of each other in the corner and that'd be that.
But no. They actually acted like chickens.
It was really nice to see. They ran, flapped their little nubby wings, and pecked and pecked. And ate. And drank. I didn't expect them not to, since they grow at a ridiculous rate. But they did chicken things, and that just made me very joyful to see.
I think they were happy. At least they seemed happy to me. I think I'm on the right track here. I want them to have a good life while they live-no misery on my watch, please. Since this went well, I'll be trying to put them outside as much as possible. And I'll keep my fingers crossed the weather stays mild so they can move outside to their house soon.