Week eight: Clucky

Loretta is ready for her close up.

Loretta is ready for her close up. Her earlobes are starting to pink up, as well as the beginnings of her wattle.

“CLUCK!”

Up to this point, the girls have made a variety of noises that range from their infant “peeps” to sing-songy trills.

But this time it was undeniable. Loretta goes down as the first chick to cluck.

It was throaty, and confident. Just as I would expect from her.

Hours later there’s a dust-up in the coop, and I hear all three in unison: Bawk-bowk-ba-gawk!!!

The changes are fast, and hard to keep up with. Loretta and Gigi are growing at an unbelievable pace. Loretta towers over everyone, and her butt feathers are fluffed out, hanging low. This all makes her seem even bigger than she is.

Funny enough, Gigi was the biggest chick for the longest time. (Hence her full name: Gentle Giant.) She stands almost as tall as Loretta, but her sleek gray feathers lay tight to her body.

Nellie remains the runt of the litter. But my research shows that her breed ā€” Dominique ā€” grows slowly, then has a spurt after a few months. Still, at full growth she will be smaller than the other two.

As they emerged from the hen house after a fierce rainstorm, I noticed all three are starting to pink up. Their combs are the palest shade of pink, and I’m starting to see the slightest indication of earlobes and waddles. Their bodies and faces continually evolve.

And while they already look like miniature chickens, I know the best developments are yet to come.

BONUS VIDEO:Ā  Charlie surprises himself and has a fun romp with the chicks.

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7 Comments on “Week eight: Clucky

  1. The video with Charlie is just too cute. I hope my two doxies act that nice with my chicks. At what age did you introduce them?

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    • Thanks for asking this. When we brought the chicks home from the hatchery, we raised them in a brooder in the basement. It had an open front with mesh, so Charlie was up sniffing at them from the beginning. We brought the chicks out one by one and let him sniff them in our hands. He’s a very gentle dog, and cautiously began his friendship. Once we started taking the chicks out to the coop, we held them up for him to sniff again. He was very calm, and we reinforced by telling him “gentle.” Over time, we would open the coop door, and let them walk up to him. The day I took the video was he first time I let them interact outside of the coop. It was a long process, but well worth the time we put into it. Charlie seems very protective of the chicks, and it’s super cute when he tries to get them to play!

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      • I should add, we did the same thing with our cat, Cora. But we needed to be more careful with her, since she clearly saw the baby chicks as prey. We let her sniff the chicks in our hands, and once they were bigger, she actually nudged them with her head. That’s when we knew she accepted them. Now out in the yard, she is occasionally curious, but will walk right past them most times. I’m relieved about this. And now that the girls are so big, I don’t think Cora would try to harm them.

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      • That’s good to know about the brooder. We’re going to use something similar with the open side made of wire. I know they will be sniffing their heats out at the chicks. Thanks!

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  2. Loved the video! But I have some questions: 1). Can chickens smell and point out morels? 2). Are they good campers and if so, 3). Will they have their own tent? šŸ˜‰

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    • Awesome questions! 1) The next time we find morels in the yard, those chickens are going to learn everything about them. They’ve got to earn their keep somehow, right? 2)Not sure about the camping. But I think they’ll love the sleeping bags I ordered for them. šŸ˜‰ 3) The girls are snuggle bunnies, so I don’t think they’ll need their own tent. Oh my. Hahaha!

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  3. Your Gigi, is still very pretty like everyone else. My OE (Olive) has black feathers with light gray baring. Still too small to see if she will have a Mohawk. Sadly, even though we ordered girls Olive had a large comb and already has waddles. But Olive is the nicest, as he always jumps into your lap!

    Good luck with your chickies!

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