We moved the chickens into their new home today. It really does look a lot like an old-fashioned covered wagon. The chickens weren't nearly as excited as we were. First, we tried pushing and pulling it ourselves. We found out we're only strong enough to move it on level ground. Then Danny hooked it up to the lawn tractor and pulled it over near the hay bales. He stopped briefly so he and the boys could load it up with some hay.
Then he let the younger boys climb in and go for a ride while he moved it into place. They were thrilled! He ended up having to go get the big tractor to get it precisely where he wanted.
The chickens were very happy to have a totally new area to explore and to scratch up. Of course, first they scattered all over the farm while I was moving the fence around the new coop. The boys and I spent hours rounding them up again and getting them back inside the fence.
We tried coaxing them to go inside the coop and check it out for themselves with breadcrumbs, but it didn't work. So, when it got dark, still they didn't want to go inside. They tried to get back to the old coops. We had to pick up each one individually and put them in. Zachary got a flashlight and put it at the back so they could see where they were. That seemed to calm them down and by the time we headed back to the house they were beginning to roost.
The plan is to leave them inside the coop for the next couple of days. We want them to become accustomed to their new home before we let them out. With all the hay in there it should keep them occupied for awhile scattering it around and eating all the seeds in it.
Hopefully by the time we let them out the new chicks will have hatched! I removed the eggs from the automatic turner this evening so they can begin positioning themselves for hatching. They should start hatching on Tuesday. I'll let you know when they do.