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.
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.
Spent the day redoing the emergency windstorm work to rights (baseboard, bolts, adjusting all plastic- no small job), and installing everyone in the greenhouse. Alas, one tiny guinea chick was found dead in the morning, possibly of exposure. It was cold, but still – odd to keel over in the GH, mom right there.
The two broody Silkie hens co-hatched two chicks. What with all the competition and apartment swapping, there is no apparent parentage of the two new chicks. Even the hens don’t seem to be clear. I installed both of them in the chickery with a broody box and new eggs. This is for their comfort, for protection from the amorous roosters (How I have longed for you!), and the teenagers who pile in at night. No one wants teenagers around, even your own.
Broody hens are so funny, they act like it’s Christmas when you give them eggs. Eggs?! You shouldn’t have! Cluck cluck cluck, and they settle right on, like they’re slipping into a warm bath.She’s been sitting on eggs more than a month, and she’s still thrilled about it.
The cohabitation seems to be great for the chicks. One mom seems pretty into mothering, but the chicks can go in the box anytime to second mom for a warming, which they do. I think I’ll have a nap with you now.Especially when Mom A is getting down in the dirt bath. We’ll leave you to it. We’ll be in here.They all pile in the box at night. TOO cute!
Before I took their box away, the teens were playing house in it:
The guinea chicks are so tiny, smaller than the Silkie chicks, perfectly camouflaged, and slippery. After the morning death, I was keeping a close eye and an ear open for their car alarm cheeping, and sure enough, one slipped under the baseboard. There it is outside on the wrong side of the plastic. Mom tried to give me a good thumping through the plastic.
The greenhouse is chaotic and messy. I strew hay bales around for them to distribute, make it less of a mud hole. They love a good hay bale.
It was a stressful day, because it was beautiful outside, and all the teens were determined to get outside in it, and were sneaky and extremely clever about slipping out behind me. I’d herd two back in and three would come shooting out. But there were no attacks, and I got everyone back in the GH eventually.
Late in the day, Mama got out with her chicks! I didn’t see how. The guineas all seemed to be fixing to roost at large, so it was time for another chicknapping.
Then all the other guineas trooped in.
Mama found a real nice spot in the corner of the bales to bed down.She has a very interested observer.
The guineas are at this age where they just get into trouble all day.
They’re falling in the drink, getting stuck in or under stuff, and practicing perching anywhere they can. I get called outside frequently by the panicked shrieks of the mortally assailed, and I find chicks…
How did it get in there? Last year I planted a highbush blueberry and set a cage over it so the chickens didn´t uproot it through their vigourous appreciation of mulch.
I routinely found wailing chicks “trapped” in the chickery until I set it up on its side. Now it´s a perch.They’ve got that guinea vase shape and they´re starting to turn speckled from striped, but they’re still brown.
Then I was brought outside at dusk by some particularly sustained alarm calling.
To find this:
The chicks were getting up on the greenhouse. And they were really nervous about it, making a lot of consternation noises.It started with the grownups. They started inching up onto the greenhouse from the sky coop while mama was sitting with her brood on the perches.
A couple of days ago, they started roosting on the peak.
Not to be outdone, the chicks just decided that’s the place to sleep now.
First they flap up to the arch from the coop Then they scoot up until they gain the peak
A few of them are content to stay on the coop, which I think is smart, but I’m sure they’ll be leveled up in no time.
I have a theory that this started with the weather vane. If that bird can get up there, then so can we.
No, they don’t puncture the plastic. It’s tight at night in the cold. It makes loud rumbling as they all scurry back and forth across it.
What’s funny, is that there’s not much space at the top. It´s kind of a one way street. Yet they insist on going back and forth, and when they pass each other….
If anyone gets more than a few inches from the center, they start to slip, then run in place, flapping, and either they regain the summit or abort, and push off to fly to the ground and then begin the quest again.
Eventually they line up like beads for the night. It looks like an owl buffet to me, but I don’t have any ideas how to stop them.