As you recall, back in mid-March we took a trip to get our newest family members.
While the chicks seemed to enjoy their sojourn in the large cardboard box in the breakfast room, they were finally large enough to move to the coop by the end of April.
Eventually, the girls were out in the run every day. Their combs and wattles began to come in, and they generally took on a more chicken-ish appearance. Here they are during their awkward adolescent phase–a little skinny and gangly with a “trainer” comb.
And here is the entire flock just a couple of weeks ago–all filled out and reminding me of a certain scene from “The Music Man.”
For a comparison of how our girls have grown–here are the two blondes as I call them (they are really Buff Leghorns) shortly after graduating from college. Young lady hens, if you will; sleek, fresh-feathered, ready to take on the world with their JCrew caramel sweater sets and their smart, red caps.
Fast forward about 6 weeks, and Macy is sporting an impressive comb. She’s very chic.
Here is one of the Barred Plymouth Rocks. These are not my favorite hens as they tend to be somewhat aggressive at times. Her comb, however, is brilliant red (if a bit dusty) and lets you know she is a healthy hen for sure. This is either Bobby, Esther, or Lolly–probably not Lolly as her comb isn’t this spectacular.
When we first brought the babies home, there was much interest in the coloring of two in particular. The one in the center of the photo that looks speckled almost–brown, black and white splotches–is our Silver Campine, Alpha.
And here is Alpha today. She has blue feet and HUGE eyes for a chicken. She is the smallest one we have, and lays small, white eggs.
My personal favorite was Hazel–the lovely little striped pullet. I think she pulled at my heart strings, because she reminded me of Charlie. She could be a house sparrow if she weren’t a chicken.
Here is Hazel today. Isn’t her coloring amazing? Unfortunately, and though she is one of the larger birds, Hazel ended up at the bottom of the pecking order. Literally. She has been pecked and plucked and chased and squawked at since we moved the hens into the run. We make sure she gets plenty of treats though.
This is Morgan. She is the Diva of the bunch–no ones’ feathers are a shiny with oil–no one has quite the exotic beauty. She knows it too.
When I mentioned aggressive chickens earlier, I was not kidding. For some reason, chickens LOVE to peck at toe nails and shorts hems and arm hair and freckles on legs–namely mine. This is not fun, nor is it comfortable. The toe nail pecking was the WORST. For the longest time my “chicken run shoes” were a pair of flip flops. One does not walk into the run with unshod feet lest one plans to step in chicken leavings. Chickens leave a LOT of leavings. So–old flip flops it was. They would peck, and peck, and peck at my toenails–not a moment’s peace did I have and it’s none too comfortable either. I got a Chicken Stick with which to shoo them away, but they would sneak up behind me or under my chair. (We take lawn chairs into the run at times just to sit and enjoy the activity.) I finally dug these out of my closet. They are my Chicken Coop Protective Footwear. Now my toes can rest easy.