Checking in with the Chicks

(some of the chicks in a small box for playtime with Little R)

The chicks have been here for almost three weeks. Seems like longer, though not in a bad way! It is interesting to watch them grow and change, and to begin to feel a little more comfortable with chick care. They are not very tame – perhaps I haven’t spent enough time holding them, but I also didn’t want to stress them, so I’ll just let things take their course.

The older chick is, I’m pretty certain, a rooster. I am calling him Ernest. He seems very gentle, if a little daft. Looks a little confused, or stunned, or just very earnest. The others still look to him as a mother hen, trying to hide under him, which doesn’t seem to bother him.

Ernest, trying to hide.

Another Barred Rock rooster (?), as yet un-named. The rooster count is growing…

We have a tiny chick that doesn’t seem to be growing (see bottom left of first photo), though otherwise seems energetic and healthy. It does tend to get run over if there is excitement but this doesn’t seem to be causing him/her any harm, and there have been times when this little one has been the first to grab a treat. Not sure what to expect of this tiny fellow. It’s impossible not to be rooting for him/her, although I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be a rooster, or indeed may fail to thrive in the end, so I’m trying not to get overly attached.

Tiny chick and Black Australorp?

We are also pretty sure that one of our Plymouth Barred Rocks is actually a Black Australorp. It’s legs are darker, and feathers are coming in completely black, unlike the others, and just looks different. A bit of online research has me pretty convinced. No matter. Hope it’s a hen!

The chicks have been outside a few times. We don’t have a perfect arrangement for this, but if I take them out in shifts and plan to keep a very close watch it’s OK. They love it.

In the box inside I’ve been enjoying trying them on different foods and watching the excitement. Wild strawberries, herbs, bugs, yogurt, cooked egg, a spoonful of leftover porridge…. And today, for a sweet-smelling box, I strew some lavender springs about in their freshly changed wood chips.

¬†And the wood for the coop is bought, and it now remains to be seen how quickly we can build it. I’m sure it will end up being mainly G but Little R and I will do our best to help out.

Peep peep!

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