Six weeks old seems big enough for their first field trip.
I probably should have tried doing this sooner. But digging deep into the interwebs trying to learn all you can about potential chicken-predators will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
So I waited until what seemed like a safe age and determined a safe place (fenced in, that is)
and chose several helpers (only requirement being that they were bigger than a hawk) and off we went.
It was a beautiful day and the chicks, after a bit of an anxious start, got busy with all the pecking and digging and scratching that chickens are so fond of.
But the recipients were not so sure. One poor grasshopper made several successful escapes from the semi-uninterested chicks but continued to be recaptured by Tallula (who is surprisingly good at bug-catching). Finally he was pecked at enough that his legs came off and all he could do was wait to be consumed by the only chick brave enough to eat him.
They can also be adorable.
Honestly, I needn’t have worried anyway. They were all curious and busy… but not nearly as destructive as I feared they’d be. Seems that chicks raised without a mama hen to show them what to eat (and not eat) tend to err on the side of caution when trying new foods.
Especially with flowers in their hair.
Which is a really good thing, because catching these little ladies turned out to be ridiculously more tiresome than turning them loose.