So about 2 weeks ago my dear hubby was shutting all the windows to go to town. We always shut the windows of the house when we leave sine we have been getting pop up thunderstorms. As soon as he gets all the windows shut he smells smoke. He really did not think anything of it since we live out in the middle of nowhere with no restrictions so folks burn stuff - a lot. However the smoke was coming from inside the house. He quickly went down to the basement to find the brooder litter on fire and smoking everything up.
Seems the peeps managed to knock down one of their lights and being a 75 watt bulb it was hot enough to catch the pine shavings on fire. He quickly extinguished the fire and made sure the peeps were ok. He called me at work to tell me what happened and I rushed home. Since he took care of the fire he went on into town for whatever he was needing.
When I go home I started getting things ready to move the peeps to the nursery outside by the coop. We have a large black watering tub that I stuffed down the bilco steps and squeezed through the doorway. At that time our son just arrived home from school and he helped me wrangle the chickens and put them into the tub and then squeeze them back up the bilco and out to the nursery.
From there I put each peep into the nursery and talked sweetly to them. They were not buying it. Some even tried to point out the perp that knocked down the light in exchange for being put back in the basement. Nope - they all were paying for the ill behavior of one, not to mention they really needed out of my house!!!
The peeps did not know what to think of the grass under their feet. They were scared and confused. We left them alone to huddle together in their new digs, and lean on one another for comfort. The old chickens were quite the nosey nellies. The kept pacing back and forth along their common cage wall trying to get a glimps of the new neighbors.
They would cluck and purr at the baby peeps to welcome them and try to encourage them to come out of the nursery. They were probably wanting to get a peck at the baby's small toes! Older chickens are like that. They think that peep toes are worms and peck at them. That is why we have the peeps segregated from the older ones until they get bigger.
In due time the peeps have adjusted and are doing well in the nursery. They seem to ignore the older chickens but since they can see and call to each other they will get used to one another.
As ever day goes bay the peeps are more and more confident. They even started out door classes in the morning. They have flight practice every morning. They are too quick for me to get a picture, but they do both the running take off and the helicopter straight up and down maneuvers. I thought I heard one yelling WOOO-HOOO this morning as she was taking her turn.
Once we got them all settled into their new home I went down and cleaned up the mess. I shoveled all the litter out of the brooder. My son actually took it all the litter down and dumped it on the compost pile. We folded up the burnt/melted tarp and found that the light landed on the only plastic piece in the whole basement....the drain. Sure enough the light burned the litter, melted/burned the tarp, and burned/melted the basement floor drain. I poured baking soda on the melted mess to absorb the burnt smell until we can get it replaced. We have decided that if we continue to add to our flock we will not put the little ones in the basement again. We say that every year and we still end up doing it!