Teenagers and a Taste of Independence

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Speckles (at the back), a Rhode Island Red is still looking a little prickly about the neck. Blue Andy, the Blue Andalusian we hatched in the incubator is a combination of blues and greys. We’re pretty sure both of these chicks are pullets (females).

 

Our chicks are six weeks old! Hard to believe, I know, but they grow up quickly. If they were being raised by a mother hen, she would normally stop mothering them sometime between 5-8 weeks. We try to follow what a mama hen would do and our chicks are now living full time outside and they love it! We still have to encourage them up to roost at dusk, but we’ve had to do this in one way or another with every batch of chicks we’ve raised. It seems to take them all a couple weeks to get the hang of it–with no mama hen to show them the ropes!

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A good view of both Sprocket (an Easter Egger/Ameraucana) and Buffy (a New Hampshire Red.) Buffy was all yellow as a chick and we were skeptical she’d be this light buff red color, but she is!

The chicks are almost fully feathered in the colors/plumage of their adult selves–although there are still some wild pinfeathers here and there. They are developing combs and waddles and looking and acting more and more like chickens. They spend the day scratching and foraging, eating, and roosting. They love treats like greens and weeds (dandelions are a favorite) and they are in their grow pen right in the middle of the chicken run so they are surrounded by the big girls.

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We are pretty convinced that Sprocket is a cockerel. He is the biggest of the five and his tail feathers are starting to come in pointy. This is the second Ameraucana chick we’ve raised and the second to be a roo. When/if he starts crowing, we’ll have to make other plans. Sprocket is a beauty, though!

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