Yesterday, for the first time since hatch two weeks ago, I opened our Alsterier’s brooding cage door. Alsty and her 18 fast-growing chicks lost no time in exiting into the large roofed run.

I was concerned about hawks and ravens, there have been a few hanging around, and the chicks are small enough to swoop and scoop.

But I didn’t need to worry, Alsty had safety top-of-mind. She let the kids explore, and everyone had a nice dust bath, but she didn’t let them put one toe outside the run.

Today she took them out, leading a 15 minute loop around the field, then it was back to the run for another lazy afternoon. It is fascinating to watch her control her babies with just her voice, they react instantly to her verbal cues.

I guess obedience is bred in, a poor listener wouldn’t last very long.