We’ve managed to keep the chicks alive and kickin’ for over a week now. 😉 Every small victory is worth celebrating! They are getting big fast, and feathering out nicely. At least for the time being I know who the youngest chick is. One of the Road Island Reds has no tail feathers yet, and all the others do! She seems to hold her own quite well even so, however.
A couple of days ago we moved them into a bigger home. They had been living in a large cardboard box. It was working for a temporary brooder and I know the smaller space helped keep them warm, but now that they’ve got another week under their belts they don’t need quite as much heat, but they do need room! So Stu found and old water trough down at the “big barn” and hauled it up for the chicks. At first they all crowded in one little spot like they were afraid to move in the space, but they got over that quickly believe me! 😉
Now that they have room to “roam” they are actively working on that pecking order. You’ve heard the term, well it comes from chickens! Who knew they actually DO have a pecking order, and some chicken is on the top and some chicken is on the bottom. Sometimes the bottom chicken is bullied, so we’ll have to keep an eye out. I spend a few minutes each day just watching them do their thing, and it’s pretty funny to watch them work out their ranks. I’m pretty sure, at least for now, that a couple of the Barred Rocks are on the top of the ranks. It’s probably too soon to know just exactly who is the “head gal” of the bunch, but it certainly seemed like those 2 especially were throwing their weight around.
Another funny thing I’ve seen them do is chase each other for whatever “goodie” a particular chick might have. The first time I saw this, they were still in the box. I walked into the garage and could hear all kinds of excited peeping coming from the box. So I peeked through the cracks without disturbing it and saw one little Leghorn running like crazy around the box with nearly the whole posse in hot pursuit. The thing that she had that EVERYONE wanted? Well, it was a fancy pine chip, of course. 😉 Not even food!! Ha ha ha! I have been giving them “treats” from time to time now too, and they do this whole chase scene with bits of apple or watermelon as well, it’s really funny!
So far watermelon is their favorite “kitchen scrap” though their experience with any of that stuff is relatively minimal. I don’t want to give them too much right now since they aren’t able to free range yet. I’m just gradually introducing them to some “goodies” so that I have leverage to get them back into the coop at the end of the day once they are allowed to roam.
Ella still hasn’t worked up the guts to hold a “chicken” (she refuses to call them chicks or chickies) yet. Tonight as she and I sat on the porch watching dusk fall, she once again told me the “Honey birds” were going to get her. I said they would not because they are tiny. Then she commented that they had wings, and I agreed. That naturally led to her informing me that “chickens have wings and they flap!” Ha ha! Observant little gal!
So there ya go, a week with “chickies” and I’ve relaxed a lot. 😉 The first night I think I was either thinking about them or dreaming about them the entire night! Here’s one of the Barred Rocks giving me the ‘stink eye’ for daring to look at them. Maybe she’s the queen bee!