Monday, June 10, 2013

little chickens

Our chicks are not yellow fuzzy, down-covered balls anymore, but are skittish, gawky birds with cinnamon colored feathers coming in and huge feet. After buying a full sized galvanized waterer and feeder, I took them out of the box brooder and let them out in the coop, blocking off the doorway with a board so they won't fall out when someone opens the door. Will and I made a small outside enclosure for them and let them explore the great wide world for a few hours each day. However, they are skinnier than I anticipated and can escape through the crack between the stake and the coop wall, as well as over the top of the 3 foot high fence, so my design needs to be improved significantly. 

I am finding the birds to be soothing, they make good company when I need to escape from the barnyard atmosphere of my house with 6 children bickering and cackling constantly. The chickens are also amusing to watch, I gave them a scoop of cottage cheese (part of our winnings at the Garelick Milk Run) and after a short period of hesitation, they began to peck and run off with curds to the corners of the coop to gulp down. They stepped in the white mound, pooped in it, and when I came back in 30 minutes, the paper plate was completely bare. The chicks startle easily, instinct against predators means that any noise, be it the door opening, a scrape of the stool against the floor, or a loud burp, sends the creatures into a deep freeze, not moving or making a sound for 10 seconds or so when one bird gets tired of standing at attention and goes back to the regular business of eating, drinking, pooping, and scratching in the litter.

Originally I wanted to name all the birds after flowers, but since they all look exactly alike, I think I'll just call them all Buttercup and be done with it. 

No comments: