The baby Chicks are now 16 days old. They are growing. It sounds crazy but we could see their growth from one visit to the next. The time inbetween was only 2 hours or a bit more. Watching their growth, their exuberance for life, and hearing their varying peeps is nothing short of watching the miracle of Life unfold.
These Little Ones have now moved from their 3 big boxes (with heat lamps) in the garage to the big house (Rooster House) with 2 heating lamps. Their pin feathers are growing. The little hens now have tail feathers, which we were told by Deleta is a sure way to tell the Girls from the Boys. Detecting the difference in such little ones is quite a skill.
The Buff Orpingtons are the biggest by far. Of the 67 little ones, they are heaviest and their feathers seem to be exploding from inside their tiny bodies. They seem to be having a "bad hair day" as their feathers go a lot of different directions at once. Ah, but that is a judgment which is not appropriate here. The 5 Barred Rock Girls have been quiet, gentle and friendly from the get-go.
All the little Peeps have already been showing behaviors of the big birds. They love their dirt baths. Their rhythmic sounds of "bathing" in their "dirt cups" are just like the sounds of the big birds having dirt baths in the big garden. They scratch. They love clover. They grab it and run with a parade of eager Chicks following on their tails. They love it when we show up at the front door and come scrambling to greet us. The Boys are already starting to fight with each other. They love to roost on their Human Friends. Tonight Melanie had 7 on her back and I had 11 on my left leg.
The Big Hens have been quite interested in all the sounds coming from the Rooster House. You can tell that some (Lacey, Kayte, and Penny especially) are very interested in "setting". By next year, we should have a brooder house, but as of now, we just don't have facilities.
Tomorrow we begin the process of introducing the Chicks to their yard. It's kind of like the 1st day of Kindergarten.
Pictures: (Above) #1: "Here's lookin' at you." (I wonder what stories they would write about these special days and their 2-Legged Feather-less Human Friends.) #2: They are all poise and grace sometimes. (Below) #3: They are a lap-full. "How's my right side?" #4: They run to the screen to see what is in that outer world. "Can we go out today? Please..."