Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cooped Up

The chicks have been in their coop for 5 full days, and they seem to have handled it quite well - in spite of the many thunderstorms and power outages we've had. I, on the other hand, have been a nervous wreck. I suppose I've gotten so used to waking up and checking on them through the night that I am now having difficulty sleeping without waking up and worrying about them. I went out at all hours of the night to check on them the first 4 nights, only to find them perfectly safe and sound - and maybe even a little annoyed that I awoke them. Last night I was determined to sleep through the night and NOT check on them - only to wake at 2AM and toss and turn for over an hour. *sigh* I am certain this should be harder on them than it is on me....

Honestly, I can see those chicks grow every day. They are getting so big. They are now entering their "teens" and looking a little gangly. Down is being replaced by feathers - and it's happening quite sporadically on their bodies. But they are still just as cute as little buttons, and I still love them to pieces.

The White Faced Black Spanish chicks remain the most friendly, in spite of everything I've read about them. They routinely meet me at the coop door and are always the first to eat out my hand when I sit down with them. Lucy was busy staring at herself in the mirror for this picture, but here are the other three:


Amelia figured out how to get to the roosts within a few hours of being in the coop. There are three tiers to the roosts, and I've seen her on the second tier several times already:


Several others have finally figured out the roosts, too - but they can only sit on it as long as Amelia allows. Once she figures out they are up there, she flies up and chases everyone else off. These two snuck up when she wasn't looking:


This is the one confirmed rooster so far. I've named him Duke. He's probably twice the size of all the others and incredibly calm and very friendly - and all the girls seem to like him. He's hot in this picture and spreading out his wings to cool a little:


That's a good lookin' boy right there!

I put a mirror in the brooder with them when I first got them, and they really seemed to like it, so I moved it out to coop for them to play with. I've got to be honest - I think Lucy has a problem. She is completely obsessed with her reflection in the mirror. It's down right embarrassing! I find her sleeping with her little face pressed against her reflection. I am not kidding. In this picture she is plum wore out from pecking at her reflection and fighting off the other chicks that tried to get to the mirror. She's the one in the front:


I should also mention that Lucy is developing quite nicely and has really grown a great deal. She's still very tiny, but she doesn't take any crap off anyone. The chicks are busy establishing dominance amongst themselves, and chest bumping is becoming quite frequent. Usually when chicks bump chests, they make eye contact until one of them backs down and walks away. Unless the whole chest bumping thing involves Lucy. When chicks bump Lucy's chest, she pecks the crap out of them and they take off running. She may be tiny, but she will jack them up in two seconds flat.

I'm including this last picture for those of you that have never had chicks and may plan to get them. When chicks get sleepy, they go to sleep. Not after they find a comfortable place to crash, and not when they curl up and settle down - I mean they go to sleep RIGHT NOW. I am used to it now, but when they were just a day or two old it would absolutely panic me. I was convinced they were dying and rush them to the CICU. I'm pretty sure every chick I have ended up in CICU at one time or another for looking sleepy. If you look at this picture I took this afternoon, you may understand why:


Notice how they sprawl out and lay all....well....dead looking?? That's how baby chicks sleep when they are plum tuckered. I wish someone had warned me about that. So do my chicks.

As you can see, the chicks are doing just fine. They are growing and changing and getting more sweet and tame each day. They are almost three weeks old, and I really can not imagine my life without them. Although a good night's sleep is something I dream about.

Bee Free,

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