A rare sighting of Brown Bonnet’s surviving chicks. She’s big, and really good at standing in front of them and hiding them. They’re so tiny! They’re smaller than her head. It’s hard to believe a chicken can start out so tiny and get by. But then, there’s hummingbirds.Apples’ little one is four days older than the other two, and it shows.The greenhouse is full of small chickens, jumping around and climbing on everything they can. Foxy is out of a job. Hers are all grown up – just enough to not need Mom.The universal Hey, you’ve got something on your beak pose. I do? Get it off.
I heard the musical little sounds of the guineas approaching the house (doesn’t happen especially often), so I peeped out.
They were going for the bath! There’s a spot right by the trail where I was weeding out buckthorn, and the birds have decided that that’s the optimum dust bathing locale. Now there’s all divots and feathers. The guineas came in for the bath as purposefully as if they had little towels over their shoulders. It was their specific destination.
I went out to get pictures (all the keets tossing up a storm of dirt), and I felt like the paparazzi sneaking through the bushes, wishing I had a longer lens.
Galahad is hard to fool.He let me get closer though.
The keets have passed their peak cute. They are entering the small turkey phase. Scraggly necks, heads balding, and the fleshy bits that grow on their faces are starting to develop.Their behavior and mannerisms are still super cute. And still bright orange feet, although dark patches are coming in.Galahad is rightfully proud. He has kept them all alive and well, and they are model guineas. He’s a truly outstanding avian parent.They are very musical, the sounds they make. Also very NOT musical, when they’re in a certain frame of mind, and their kind is famous for that. It only took three generations of coddled guineas living here in order to get a non-neurotic batch of comfortable, quiet ones.Vigorous dirt bathing. Oh, now here come the chickens horning in. It’s like, just when you’ve got the hot tub to yourself, ten college kids show up at the pool.Oh, bathing? What a great idea. Don’t mind if I do. I’ll just, excuse me, I’ll just… get in right here, if you don’t mind, just pushing over a bit? Back to looking like rocks. There’s Cheeks sporting her jacket. She’s breaking it in. It’s working though, the simple design is keeping the right places covered. And… there they go. We’re done here. ‘scuse me.If we could just get by ya here.And, there they go. Back to the greenhouse area. That happened so fast that little brown rooster hasn’t moved. What was that just happened!?The chickens don’t always congregate by the deck, they don’t even show up to the house daily, but when they do, I love it. They come in a drove, and sprawl out, more like they’re visiting and comfortable here than that they’re rabid for handouts. It’s nice and safe by the house for them, so I’m glad they do. They love those sawhorses. Those’ll go in the greenhouse this winter for them
The famous five in fact, love to rummage around around the hives, and jump up on them.That is the back of the hive, but they rummage equally well in the front. They go underneath. I’ve seen one jump up on the bee door closure stick.Meeting behind Pansy building! (My hives are plumb; the camera is tipped)
I’ve thought one would get stung, and that would be over, but no. It’s always just little tribe. They have the place to themselves.
The Famous Five. These didn’t grow up together (different Silkie moms), but they have found each other. They clearly share genes. These are the smallest of the free chicks (they grow up so fast!), and they’re very adventurous.There once was a time when chickens perching in low branches was a novelty. Now it’s de rigeur. The tweens. At least one of these culprits is starting to practice his crowing. Little Pepper is still in this mix despite getting quickly outgrown (Silkie/Barred cross) by the big Chanticleers.Inky, Velvet, and Speckles, utilizing my recent brush pile. And Cleopatra begat Inky and Velvet; Speckles is a Silkie cross – possibly with Puffcheeks? On the ground level of Silkieland, Daisy the digger and her chicks just moved up to the big house. The chicks can leak out in various ways. The run is not a secure facility, just intended to give the hens some peace from the roosters, who spend the day on the outside of the fence, and are allowed back in at night. The hens preen and take dust baths and lie around in the sun, or the shade, and the roos bob around looking and not touching, and it drives them wild!The chicks are better at getting out than back in. Daisy is watching over them, but the roosters are into chicks too. The Colonel especially likes when there’s new chicks to show off his old tricks. Even when chickens are good, they don’t come close to guineas in the co-parenting department though. You’ll see a rooster sharing food and skills, but not sheltering chicks. This guy’s a rock star:Galahad hosting perching practice on the rim of Silkieland. Uhoh. Somebody jumped into a vacant chickery and isn’t clever enough to get out!
Staredown!The little roosters are beefin’ again.Until one of their sisters runs up, then they’re suddenly and unconvincingly casual. Pepper’s found a new perch. She’s not going to miss any water fountain gossip. Cream Puff jumped up in the walnut tree for some alone time. Way up in the tree. Fluffing herself up, walking back and forth on the branch. Higher than chickens normally go.
Chris got nervous. She came down in her own time, just when he started to look like he’d go up after her.
And what the heck is this??! It’s huge, nearly two inches.
THIS little guy was crowing today.
It sounded like someone stepped on a squeaky toy. I think he was appropriately embarrassed and didn’t do it again. Hope he puts that project on the back burner for a few months. I wouldn’t have thought it possible if I weren’t looking right at him.
I’m like, You! You are barely 12 inches tall at your full stretch. You have nothing to crow about yet!
The teens are so cute!! Bright yellow, big feet, that they have yet to grow into, like puppies. The teens have a set of baby sibling tag-alongs- the four young chicks of Ursa’s, and they (teens) tag along on the Family (Philippe and the Cheeks etc). Galahad escorted them down the path to the house the other day (And here, at times, there are snacks), and now they show up daily, but they feel better if the Family is already there. Moochers of the future.
That would be Oscar and Orlando up front. I don’t care how tall you stand, you’ve got no business crowing about it. Clearly, Toffee’s offspring. Philippe was finding it warm today. Another record setting hot one, and most of the chickens were adopting Airplane Pose.Ursa Minor’s four chicks have been on their own for a week. Surprisingly early! I haven’t looked if they’re still cuddling in the coop, but during the day, there seems to be no further attachment, except to each other. They’re a little peeping squad. They seem to be role-modeling on the teens these days.
It’s really something: now I’ve got chicks that were born here, that were born to chickens that were born here, and their behaviour is remarkably different from the first gens. They’re so confident. So early – still tiny, miniature chickens still fuzzy around the neck- and they project Yeah, I got this, world! No questions or hesitancy. I’m a chicken! Hear me r–! Oh, wait…”
I think we have our Oscar and Orlando! Baby beefin’.They freeze, staring at each other. It’s quite aggressive, considering it’s motionless. You can feel the tension. Then they pretend to go about their business for about a second and a half, then – Freeze! Beak to beak. Big yellow feet:)
I heard some scuffling, then HW blandly said “I think she’s ready to be out of the box.”He’d taken the netting off of her so she could stretch her neck up without restriction. I thought this very promising, a signal that I could return her to the flock, if she was feeling spunky.She perched on the side of the box for a good twenty minutes. Not too terribly spunky.I resumed my business. I heard another scuffle, then silence, and I forgot about it.
She had jumped down, and was standing on the floor. I gave her a local newspaper.We visited. I kept doing my thing. She walked around a little bit, then settled in on her newspaper. I felt she didn’t need any monitoring, and left her to it. Not long later, I heard a third scuffle and checked. She’d just hopped back into her box (where she settled down for a little nap and stayed, without confinement or supervision, the rest of the day).
Funny bird. Her whole foray out of the box was about a half hour long.
I’ve never known a chicken to be so happy to live in a box. It’s crazy. She seems perfectly content to nap, eat, groom herself. Repeat. She eats breakfast and settles down into the hay for a nap. Eats lunch, stretches out in the sun and naps. Eats a snack, sighs, tucks her head under a wing and takes a nap.
I’m glad she’s eating. It’s her only real job. And I can feel her putting on weight. But I do want to see signs of normal chicken behaviour, like escape attempts. Scritching. Opinions. No, she’s just I live in a box now. So the jury is still out on, Is she ill? Or Is she just the mildest chicken ever? She’s growing slow for her age, hence the forced confinement with snack bar, so maybe her mildness is a symptom of hunger? Not the usual symptom of hunger. The only sure way to get a rise out of her is autofocus. The green light makes her hit the dark far side of her box in zero time flat. I’ll be looking through the viewfinder at her, lining up a perfect shot of her being cute, touch autofocus, and *poof*. Where’d she go? I failed to get many excellent pictures that way. The only way I can get closeups is in full sunshine; that drowns out the autofocusing green light. Oh, falling asleep. Going… Gone. No, I’m awake. See, my eyes are o….o…oh, back to sleep
HW shakes his head soberly and says I’m headed for a certain destiny of being a crazy chicken lady that has chickens in the house wearing diapers (Ok, I don’t think that necessarily correlates to mental instability, just sayin), but he loves her too. She’s too precious, and it’s fun to have a quiet little poofy pet. A purse chicken.
These little Silkies have a sweet thing going on. There’s the two young Silkie hens- real beauties, and maybe one has started laying eggs – but they post up all day on the haybale in the middle of the room, and Yin and Yang, whose mom moved on ages ago to have another clutch, cuddle up with them. They really cuddle. They’ve got themselves some sweet stepsisters. Yin and Yang are always trying to burrow under, but they’re way too big for that. Burrowing doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s not like they’re cold, either, they’re just cuddling.It’s super cute to watch birds who are mostly free to choose, over time form attachments and “friendships” and decide where and how they spend their days; to see them organize themselves socially.