Well, the wee ones are just over two weeks old and they are chirping, leaping, scratching, and perching! Their downy newborn fluff is quickly being replaced with feathers and we are gradually starting to see the coloring the chicks will have as adults. Personalities are starting to unveil themselves too. The chicks still have a ways to go before they are ready for outdoor life, but they are well on their way!
Blue Andy is the very first chick ever hatched out of the incubator here at Raggedy Hen Farm and we are crossing our fingers this will be a pullet, so we’ll be able to keep her! You may remember how tiny that little chick was a couple weeks ago? Well, now she is one of the tallest chicks in the brooder. A Blue Andalusian, this chicken will have a more upright tail than the others and those tail feathers are already coming in with a bit of drama.
Buffy is our New Hampshire Red and she’s supposed to be the fastest growing of these current breeds. So far, that doesn’t really seem to be the case and we’re having a hard time trusting that she’s going to even be red! She started out pure yellow and her new feathers are coming in white and very pale reddish. She is the most skittish of the chicks and the loudest peeper!
Speckles is the one we’ve voted Most Likely to be a Cockerel. We’re pretty sure that Speckles is a Rhode Island Red, but our other guess is a Speckled Sussex. Hatched from one of our “assorted” eggs, we’re just not quite sure! So far, Speckles seems to be fearless and is the first one to run up to our hands when we reach in to the brooder box. Lately, this sassy chick has taken to doing a whole lot of roosting: on the roosting bar, the food dish, and even on top of the water fount!
Betty is a super mellow, nearly zen, Brahma chick. Believe it or not, she’s supposed to be the largest of all of them when she grows to her full size. Teri is quite taken with her feathery feet and legs and she is just a very easy-going chick. We think she is going to be a Dark Brahma based on the colors of her new wing and cape feathers.
Sprocket is still the biggest chick, hatched from the largest egg. An Ameraucana/Easter Egger chicken, Sprocket seems to always be in the middle of whatever is going on. Not necessarily the instigator, but definitely not one to ever be caught sitting off by herself. Her coloring and Betty’s are similar, so it’s going to be interesting to see what they look like as they grow.
We are starting to give the chicks some greens from outdoors (as we’re doing some early spring weeding, the chickens and the chicks benefit from the greens!) and they are old enough to enjoy pecking around in the roots and dirt and pinching off pieces of the leaves. We sprinkle tiny rocks or “grit” in their brooder now when we clean the box so they will be able to process the “real food.” Chickens don’t have teeth so they eat small rocks and pebbles and those sit in their craw and help break up the food they eat. They are also eating tons of chick feed and we freshen their water several times a day (they have a tendency to fill it with bedding as they scratch and romp around.) In a few days, weather permitting, they will get to have their first forays out into the yard and sunshine. Chicks grow so fast; by six weeks or so, they will likely be living outside full time!