Gawky and Squawky

Our chicks are getting big! They are now two and a half weeks old, and instead of cute little balls of fluff, we have these guys:

They are still totally entertaining, even if they're not quite as cute as they used to be. They have some new tricks, too: They can jump up on the edges of the box and roost on the plastic rim; they can flap their wings to take short, hopping flights; and they can scratch behind their ears like dogs (hilarious!). They also jump on top of each other, leading to lots of squawking and bickering — for the time being I think we have six kids in the house instead of just two. 

They are also feathering out, so we have a better idea of what they will look like as adult hens. A snapshot of each:

This is Martha, and it looks like she will be all white. She is one of our "easter eggers," which you can see by looking at the greenish-gray color of her feet. That means that she has the Ameraucana gene to lay blue or green eggs. 

This is Abigail. For my money, she's our prettiest. Her wings are speckled light and dark brown, and her eyes are dark around the edges, which make her look either like a hawk, or a like she's wearing eyeliner, depending on whom you ask. Her green feet let us know that she's our other Ameraucana cross. 

This is Sally, our Barred Rock. Now that her feathers are coming in, you can see that she will have white and black stripes on them. A friend of Kirk's who has chickens described Barred Rocks as being standoffish, and that is true of Sally. She seems a bit of a loner with the other chics as well as with people. She's not aggressive or mean, though ... she just likes her space. I totally get her, and so does Jonas, who has claimed her as his chicken.

Finally, we have Dolley, our smallest chicken. She has been the slowest to feather out, and she was the last to be able to jump up on the edge of the box to roost while we are home and the top is off for them to play. Dolley is also having the most awkward adolescence as her yellow fluff turns to red-brown feathers. She is a Golden Buff, which means she'll be mostly red-brown but have white tips on her wings and tail. The white tips are there, but she's pretty mottled looking as her brown feathers come in. She's a docile bird, though, and easy to pick up and move around.

The are definitely starting to protest about more shrilly about being picked up, but it's all squawking and flapping — no one has bitten the hand that feeds it yet. To get an idea of how they've grown, here's Jonas with Martha:

This photo is a few days old, so they are actually bigger than that now. It is amazing to come home from work and be able to swear without hyperbole that they grew while you were gone. They get big really fast! Next weekend we will need to find a bigger box for them, and by Memorial Day we will be building a coop — they'll be ready to move out as soon as they have all their feathers.


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