Friday, August 25, 2006
8 Chicks at 8 weeks!
Finally, another chick update! Our 8 bird-tweens are on their own now, with no more mother-hen wisdom to help. It’s been about a week since the second momma hen laid her first egg behind the baby coop, a sign that she was ready to move on. We gave her a day off in the chicken tractor by herself, then integrated her into the adult flock again. She’s keeping to herself or causing a few riffs with the other hens, but hasn’t headed back toward the chick “nursery” at all.
It’s a bit sad, perhaps (lonely chicks!), but satisfying to know that both hens have done their jobs well and moved back into egg laying rotation on their own. A “natural” cycle, at least as natural as domestic critters can manage!
The chicks are continuing to look HUGE- growing fast. They’ve definitely figured out the outdoor perches, but are reluctant to go into their little coops at night (too dark?). There’s always quite a bit of shuffling and peeping in the evening while they figure out who gets to be in the warm middle of the pile and who wants to perch on the little indoor perches. They do alright on their own, but coming running to us when we get near: “Will you be our mother?!? Or maybe give us treats? No? Ok, we’ll just rest on this here handy perch…”
Still looking like 2 roosters (one on the right), so we’ll see about their fate later in the fall. Now that we have Mr. Miracle Rooster (adult, doing fine now) we’re not real inclined to butcher him this fall. He’s never challenged a human, and was raised in pretty close contact with us. These young ones are a little “spookier,” having been raising by chickens! Crazy, eh? So, we’ll see…