Our chickens spend almost all of their lives on pasture, so it is essential that we introduce them to the world of grasses as soon as they are ready to get them off on the right foot. When we first expose the chicks to this poly-culture of grasses, they are a little unsure and maybe a bit surprised, but after a few moments they get right down to business. The morning is the best time to make this introduction. It gives the chicks the time needed to adjust before they spent their first night on pasture. By the time night falls, the chicks have already forgotten that they lived anywhere else.
As resilient and tough as chicks are, they do need some protection from animals that would enjoy some tasty chicken nuggets for dinner. A chicken’s natural defense is to sleep in trees or someplace out-of-reach. Although roosting comes naturally to chickens, you need to coach them along in the beginning because when they are small their preferred method of sleeping is in a tight little pile. So every night for the first week they are on pasture we quietly place them on the roost with the adult laying-chickens until they figure out that they can just as easily do it themselves.