Monday, July 7, 2014

Growing up

The Cuckoo Marans and Welsummer chicks hatched by my Blue Laced Red Wyandotte are growing fast. I kept them separated from the rest of the flock to avoid having babies scooting under the fence into the neighbor's yard. Now, they're big enough to stay (mostly) inside the run.

We liberated them from their enclosure inside the coop last week. They spent most of the day exploring the coop, but by afternoon they were ready for their appearance in the world. Ms. Wyandotte led them out like a princess leading a parade!

They gained confidence quickly and venture away from mother to scratch around, explore and take dirt baths. They soon discovered the perches.
Ms. Wyandotte is a fierce mother. The pecking order has been disrupted by all these changes. She's now targeting Blondie, the only other hen even close to her in size. The Welsumer and Ancona get along fine with her and the chicks.

Every day is different. Occasionally one or more chicks escape from the run. When they realize they are separated from mother, they set up their distress call, which alerts me to come out and save the lost baby. Last night one got out on the vacant lot side and started wandering, squawking loudly all the way. From a predation point of view, it was the worst thing she could possibly do. I'm delighted that there are still seven chicks.

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