Right now we have 37 chicks that are 5 1/2 weeks old. Once our neighbours have built their coop and retrieved their part of the flock (19 birds) and once we've given our omnivorous friends all but one of our cockerels (~7 birds? ... still not totally sure on this), we'll have about 10-11 birds -- the perfect sized flock for us and for our new coop. Right now, though, there are a heck of a lot of half-grown poultry in our little coop. They're still small enough to be very very interesting to the cat, and definitely of a size to be a quick snack for the Abominable Dog, whose digging and unmentionables are currently monopolizing what used to be the outdoor chicken run. We wanted to get them out of the coop en masse, not in the groups of four or five that are about all the kids can manage to herd in a free-range setting.
So this morning we took four lengths of rebar and the remainder of the roll of garden fencing and created a temporary enclosure on the lawn. It keeps the chicks in and it keeps the cat out. What it has no chance of doing is keeping the A.D. out, so the dog is penned for part of the day until we laboriously return the chicks to the coop this afternoon. We'll move the chick corral around the lawn from day to day to give them some variety.
I am thrilled with our many-coloured flock, especially on the backdrop of a green lawn under a bright blue almost-June sky.