Just seven short weeks ago, I was teaching three little chicks how to drink … and marveling at their fuzzball antics.
Today, they are miniature chickens, testing their wings and chasing worms.
My, how time flies.
Loretta, Nellie and Gigi just finished their first full week in the chicken coop. The first night was cold (34 degrees!) and I worried about them turning into chick-cicles. But they survived the night, and have really settled in.
We now have a routine. In the morning, I open the guillotine door, and they literally fly out, above the ramp leading into the run. They go over to the feeder and eat, eat, eat. During the day they mix their time between the run and perching inside the coop.
Funny enough, I built a baby roost that stands about 10 inches off the ground, thinking they would not be able to comfortably get up on the other two much higher roosts. They proved me wrong. Almost immediately they flew up to the higher posts.
At sundown, the birds surprised me by going back into the chicken coop on their own, and snuggling into a slumber in a dark corner. I haven’t had to usher them inside once.
The girls are slowly warming up to me. Nellie remains the most friendly, often walking right into my hand, and cooing as I hold her. But Gigi and, especially, Loretta just don’t have time for that. They squawk, and flap their wings … running in circles. But now I can walk into the run, and they come up to me pecking at my feet. I’ve tried my best to try to pick them up without looking like a crazy swooping predator. And that’s a hard task!
Nellie has taken to climbing up on my shoulder, sitting like a parrot.
I’ve noticed Gigi taking a leadership role, often investigating a suspicious bug before calling the other girls over. Loretta and Nellie are certainly feisty, but they clearly defer to Gigi’s judgement. I think we are just starting to see a pecking order develop.
This week we also gave the girls worms for the first time. Matt looked under rocks, and found a handful of wigglers. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since the chicks have been lukewarm to most treats we tried to give them. But with the worms? Fireworks!
Gigi would grab one from Matt’s fingers, then Nellie would snatch it from her beak and start running. This went on and on, a hilarious sideshow.
Certainly worth the price of admission.
BONUS VIDEO: The chicks jockey for position on the roost. Plus a surprise ending!