The word that best describes the chickens this week? BUTT-UGLY! (is that two words?) Even before the weekend, they had started to really show their feathers, but still had some cute fluff. This week, they just look horrid! I heard someone describe this stage as the awkward teenage years.
I can’t wait until they get past this stage because I can already see that some are going to have beautiful feathers. This guy (gal?) looks better than most of the bunch.
We’re having to be careful when we do open the doors – they’re fluttering around quite a bit, testing their wings. In fact, we decided to stop trying to take “photo studio” pictures… I don’t think they’d remain stationary long enough.
“Buddy” (right) and “Freckles” (above) are still our most frequent greeters when we open the doors. They are getting awfully cozy … do you think they’re scared of Dave? Nah. We are really hoping that “Buddy” is one of the hens because if not, we may be forced to keep a Buff Orpington as our rooster (not that that would be a bad thing).
The Cornish Crosses are very easy to identify now. The largest one - “Dizzy” (for Gillespie) is almost three times the size of the other chicks. He is so-named because he has eaten so much he huffs and puffs his cheeks out because he can’t breathe very well (do chickens have cheeks?!) One Cornish is slightly smaller but not by much; a third is smaller yet – he actually looks healthy. And our fourth Cornish? Not so healthy. That one is “Crip” (cripple). He’s no more than half the size of the others, still has quite a bit of baby fluff – so he’s not maturing at the same rate, and the last two days has spent most of his time sleeping. That’s not a prison you see… it’s Dave’s latest way to give Crip a fighting chance. Yesterday he had other chicks standing on him. So he now has his own little pen (old milk crate) near the heat lamp, with his own supply of water and food. Hopefully that will help him thrive and survive.
Dave still spends quite a bit of time watching the chicks – he says it’s more entertaining than television! It’s hilarious to watch one chick think he’s found The Best Thing Ever. He starts running around chirping at the top of his lungs “Look what I found! Look what I found!”. Which of course alerts the others, who then chase him and try to steal away the Great Find. Since they aren’t exposed to much else, most of the time it’s usually a dark wood chip which must look like a bug or worm.
Speaking of bugs, we had one brave moth that flew into their coop the other day. 42 pairs of eyes watched intently as that thing fluttered above their heads. I can’t wait until they get outside … hopefully we won’t see any ticks in our yard this year. (Maybe we should put Charlie in with them for an hour or so after he walks through the weeds!)