We know, we know. We are long overdue for a chicken update. We’ve been doing our best to keep up with our little ladies but it’s been tough. It’s just amazing how fast they grow!
They started out in a cardboard box that was about 2½ feet by 2½ feet. We expected that to hold them for a while, but it turns out that we vastly underestimated them. The three Plymouth Barred Rocks, our older chicks, quickly became curious about the world that existed outside of their cardboard box. By the time the Barred Rocks were two weeks old, Helga made a very impressive escape attempt that was only thwarted because we happened to be standing right beside the box to corral her.
So they’ve since been relocated to a much larger cardboard/duct tape Franken-box that should (hopefully) hold them for a few more weeks. As of this post, the Rhode Island Reds (red chicks), Buff Orpingtons (yellow chicks), and Easter Eggers (grayish brown striped chicks) are two weeks old and the Plymouth Barred Rocks (black and white chicks) are almost three weeks old.
Their appearance changes every single day, as they are gradually replacing their fluffy down with real feathers. Most of the real feathers are showing up on their wings and tails, but the Barred Rocks are beginning to get feathers on their necks and backs too. Their feet have gotten much bigger and they are starting to develop combs on the top of their heads.
And their behavior is just hilarious! Our chicks peck and scratch at the bottom of the box almost constantly. Then suddenly, without any warning or reason, one of them will sprint across the box flailing and flapping her little wings. We’ve also been seeing some power struggles. These mostly involve two chicks stretching up tall, puffing up their chest feathers, and dancing around in circles. They’ve pecked at eachother a little, but none of their squabbles have gotten bad enough for us to intervene. They are just working out their social order to decide which chicken “rules the roost.”
The chicken coop is really coming along now, but we’ve still got lots to do before the chickens can move in. The walls are all standing and we’ve just about completed the exterior sheeting. We’ve even had a couple of neighbors ask us about it. It’s been fun to see their reactions; which have mostly been a mixture of confusion, surprise, and amusement.
So far keeping chickens has been loads of fun. Building the chicken coop has been lots of work, but I think we’ll be pretty happy with it when it’s finished. We’ll try to do a better job of keeping you all posted on the happenings with our little gals in the upcoming weeks.