The fuzznuggets have started perching. They all keep the same schedule; I’m so used to seeing moms raise their chicks now. First, there’s very close to home chickergarten, where scratching is strongly emphasized – Mom shows them vigorous scratching in loose material, clearly for practice. Good fling. Look at how well Daisy is kicking.
Second comes explorer time, where the moms take their chicks off, to some distance, for I don’t know what, world acclimation and exposure to strange and unusual things. That is the type of caterpillar that tastes disgusting, but go ahead and try it. We also do not eat slugs. This stage gives me palpitations because they go off in the woods and I fear for them. This is the stage they’re in.
Next comes morning perching. I don’t know why it tends to be first thing after breakfast, and the chicks tend to do it on their own without demonstration. They move higher and higher in the tree and on their rack as they age. It started today.
Eventually they move into being more clubby with the other chicks their age and needing Mom less, then they break up with Mom, or she quits.
These are Velvet and Ghost‘s chicks (Sidewinder is still around, too). I gave Velvet several eggs, and then Ghost seemed just as determined, so I split the eggs with her. They were a mixed batch, so it’s really wild that the chicks ALL seem to be more Cheekslings.
Notice the other one gone for a post-perch warming in Mom’s fluff.
It’s time for a good evening perch.Like mama, like chick. They are getting quite good at the starter branch, and can walk up and down along it, and keep their balance when their chick siblings shake it by jumping on and off.This little chick, all independent, doesn’t need a warming – my money is that he’s a rooster. She’s looking for aerial threats. Oh! Perching again. One of the “old” chicks. Her cheeks are showing. This is the little Silkie cuckoo that got raised with the big birds, and now she’s not having being put in with the Silkies. Her sister wants to know if she’s in this picture too. There they are.Oh, hello! Little orange feet:)
Now I know why the other chickens weren’t impressed by Nosey. This is what they do when I’m not looking.The white one was up there too, before I got the camera. Just walking around up there on the tomato vines. She’s going to practice swinging in a controlled environment.
One of Foxy’s (the oldest of the small chicks) chicks has a feather issue today. This sometimes happens, more often to the Silkies though. Can you spot it? What?It has little outrigger feathers growing sticking straight out from its shoulders.It’s so funny. It’s like only two feathers are committed to flying. They’ll be gone in a couple days.Guineas doing their guinea thing. They’re growing so fast.Galahad has a feather stuck on his face. A keet is about to notice and pluck it off for him. It’s the most beautiful time of year. Cool enough to want a sweater in the morning, no bugs, beautiful light, endless sunny days. This is the best time to work (there sure is enough of that).Feisty’s chicks have discovered perching (look next to the trunk for the third pair of legs). Feisty’s not into it, but of course, these chicks are biologically from clan Perchick or Puffcheeks, so they can’t be stopped from climbing trees. She’s such a good mom, but then, the fiercely protective hens usually are.
It was bedtime. Galahad had gone to perch, I was just about to close the coop, and I happened to see some movement in the pine tree.
SIX of the teens were in the tree, looking like they fully intended to spend the night. I had to shake them out, and they were reluctant. But they scampered off to the coop once they were down. I really hope that shaking chickens out of the pine tree doesn’t become customary.
What? We can’t sleep out in the treehouse? We had it all planned!
The rooster is making himself comfortable in the food tray. I’m just gonna lay down right here. The three pine trees I pruned up are seeing the use I imagined. Ursa and her chicks are under this one, and the teens have decamped from Pine Tree One (leaving that one to the grownups) to their own clubhouse tree, where they are cuddling (too much!). All the trees now have established dust baths, too. There’s a new addition! One teeny tiny little silver chick. I dreamed another chick hatched last night, and I remembered dreaming it, and then it turned out to be true!
Daisy was up off her three unhatched eggs yesterday, after giving them two extra days. She shoved them out of her box and ignored them. When she went to bed, though, I tucked the eggs back under her for the night, just in case.
Good thing! This little baby is adorable! The first silver chick ever. Maybe one of Annie Smith Peck’s.Am I doing it right?
This little tiny chick is half the size of its siblings just two days older, and it is having a rough go. It can’t stand up on its legs, isn’t very good at moving around, can barely stay right side up, and keeps getting run over by the siblings. It just wants to spend its first day alive tucked under Mom, but Mom already has active toddlers to take care of, and she’s hard to keep up with.
She’s doing her best. Scratch scratch, eat, eat, sit on the baby. It made it through its first day, so I think it will make it. Going to be the slow learner for weeks, though, before those two days cease to matter.
Apples and Sprout – inseparable. I’m pretty sure now Sprout is a hen, so they should stay friends a long time.Cheeks and Galahad. Both are a little more adventurous than the rest of the Family, who are never far away. They are plucking the seeds off the ends of the dry grass together. Ketchup and Mayo. Ketchup is developing some scrappy cheeks, so she must be part Ameracuana.I gave up trying to teach them that they sleep in the big coop. Maybe later in life.It’s nice that someone is utilizing the swing I made for the Silkies. The back of greenhouse crowd. They’re convinced I’ve got something.
Interest in the new trees was muted. There was some investigation and hay scritching, but the first tree is still the crowd favorite.I do mean crowd. I mused “Why is it always the chicks that are so excited about the trees?” And HW said it makes sense; kids usually enjoy climbing trees more than adults.
The winter is going to be interesting. I’m going to have to build some serious multi-level structures in the greenhouse this year.Somebody left me a nice feather in the garden. Hawk or owl.
Before it’s bedtime, 7-8pm ish, it’s the hour for serious lounging. The various chicken cliques are scattered around, and more likely to be settled down on the ground than perching above ground. They just sink down in the grass/weeds (or wherever they are) and have a little lull, maybe even a proper nap.
Two of Ursa’s new chicks came supplied with the most amazing permanent eyeliner. It’s too bad I used up the name Cleopatra already (although it was entirely appropriate), because these two have totally Egyptian eyes.Mom’s already gone to bed.
I chickened out some pine trees. I’d given up on getting anything intentional done, so I just did whatever, and now the chickens are getting some new tree forts. Tomorrow’s going to be good.
The various sized chicks use the main pine tree so much, as club house central. Now they can branch out.
The process is easy – scythe underneath, prune out all the little inner branches, and throw in some hay. They like visibility, and easy access. I did three trees. The Family came lurking around, watching what I was doing.BeforeAfter
I’m going to let them distribute the mulch themselves.
And otherwise being funny:I’d like to call this meeting to order…. They sure love their pine tree.
Yesterday was rainy. A good soaking, the kind where the water table seems to rise to the surface of the earth. My GH eavestrough is working (first rain test), and the tank was filling faster than the tap was running inside. The Silkies had hairdos, the way they get when their heads get wet. Most were huddled grumpily under their rain tents, but there were a few brave ones wandering about. The wet chicken gets the worm.