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Indoor chicks

A couple of weeks ago we decided to commit to chickens. I’ve been kicking the idea of some sort of fowl around for a couple of years now, but the local predators and level of hands on work required gave me pause. But this year we took a short intro class and it turns out that chickens really don’t need that much in the way of daily maintenance so we picked some up. Eight, actually, not some.

So far they’re growing like crazy in their brooder. The eldest are almost pullets, with the littlest starting to go into the ugly phase where they only have half their feathers and big bare patches. I refuse to name them as I’m certain that there will be at least one that’s caught and killed by a predator.1 So the chicks are growing at the rate where they have to stretch periodically because their little bodies are uncomfortable. It’s pretty funny to watch the wings and legs stretch out together, with little toes and claws poking through the wing feathers. They’re getting big enough now that we’re putting them into a larger brooder this weekend so they have enough space until it’s warm enough to put them into the new coop.

They’re also starting to show a bit of retention. The chicks charge the side of the brooder I approach from when I show up, excited for food. And when my hands go into the brooder, they’re calm and wait for petting. Well, except for the biter. Isn’t there always a biter? Fortunately chicks trying to bite with their little beaks is more silly than alarming.

When we first brought them home

Baby chicks
Now, entering the ugly phase

Balding chicks

  1. If I name them, I will be a wreck when this happens. []
Crossposted from Journey to the Center, comment here or there with OpenID.