I'll admit it. I was a little nervous about taking this on, which explains why I researched it for about 3 years before finally moving forward. I was worried about investing a lot of time, energy and money into this project. What if I hated it? Could I risk giving my husband a little more fuel for his fire? Clearly, he already thinks I'm a little nutty.
Getting the coop and moving the girls outside was a big deal. To me, birds do not belong in the house. But of course, the babies were different. Well, I was not prepared for how quickly they would grow. I checked them every morning and every evening, and I saw changes each time I looked. It was fascinating! And I realize they are not done growing and changing.
Without a mother hen to show them what to do, the first two nights the girls prepared to settle in for sleep in the grassy run. Noisily, they piled together in the cold grass. Although it had been a beautiful day, the temperature was dropping to the 50's overnight. They were not happy! I scooped them up and put them to bed inside the coop. They immediately settled down and went to sleep. And yes, I do have a heat lamp up there for cold nights.
Last night things were different. As it got dark and chilly, they got noisy. Lucy was the first to head upstairs, followed by Maggie. The others ran around underneath, chirping loudly. Lucy and Maggie peered down from the safety of the coop, calling to the others. Within about ten minutes, everyone was upstairs, ready for bed.
One of the things I really like about our coop design is the open "stairway" to the run below. It allows the girls to decide when to get up in the morning, and when to head to bed, alleviating us of the need to "rise with the chickens." I'm not particularly fond of early mornings, so this works for me.