Week one has come and gone in a flash. The cute, fluffy chicks are growing up fast! All but 1 have what looks like full wing feathers. Which one doesn’t? The feather footed Cochin. Who would have thought she would feather so slowly when she will be the largest and is the only one with feathered legs.
The first picture is Oreo the Australorp. She has long black feathers with a row of white ones. She will be all black but shine iridescent in the sun (I can’t wait!). The second picture is Captain the Cochin and her tiny little feathers emerging under her fluff. It reminds me of cartoon pictures of a huge dragon with tiny wings.
They now run and flap all over the brooder floor. I have added a mirror for their/my amusement. It is like I have 6 teen age girls jockeying for a spot in front of the bathroom mirror before school – ALL DAY. Unfortunately, the mirror they are using is my only hand mirror so I had to borrow it to fix the back of my hair. As soon as the mirror left the brooder, I heard running, flapping and peeping. They were frantically looking for the mirror and their 6 missing friends.
I just love Oreo’s light-colored bottom. It’s so cute!
Another addition to the brooder is a stick ladder so they can practice roosting. When they move into the permanent coop, they will want to roost so I think of this ladder as training roosts so they are ready for the big day. Hatsy the Barred Rock has it mastered as well as Peaches the Buff Orpington. They not only roost on the sticks but climb up the vertical supports as well. One chick has the most trouble – Captain the Cochin. Poor girl! No feathers and now this. The girl has no vertical jump. She will stand next to the sticks and make herself as tall as possible. It is almost like she thinks the taller she is the easier to get on the stick or that she is willing herself onto the stick.
I am assuming that Hatsy is losing her fluff on the top of her head to make way for feathers and not premature balding. Another dreaded fear that she is a male….yikes!
Another way to entertain us/them, was to put a clump of dirt into their brooder. Since they are in a pretty contained area, they are not exposed to many germs, specifically cocci. If the chicks are exposed to some germs, their tiny bodies can begin to develop some tolerance to them. If they were being raised by a hen, they would be walking outside exposing themselves but since I am their mom, I need to do my part. Think of it as a chicken pox party – remember those? Anytime a child would get chicken pox, the other moms would be invited over so their children could get the virus too. Same type of idea. They did not know what to do at first but then scratching and pecking took over and even a little “I’m Queen of the Clump”.
We keep waiting to see who will emerge as the “top hen” in the pecking order. I can’t say that we have seen any power struggles because so far they are very easy-going and seem to really get along. Could the pecking order already be established and we just don’t know it?! Hatsy is the most assertive of the chicks. When I put my hand in the brooder, she is the one who gets really tall and comes to check it out while the others scatter. She isn’t afraid of the hand.
This picture reminds me of the movie Toy Story when the claw from the game would go down to grab an alien toy. “The Claw”
Hmmmm…… still praying that isn’t an indication that Hatsy could be a rooster but instead a strong, confident hen. As Beyoncé says, “Who runs the world? GIRLS” Maybe she is on to something….