Sunday, April 27, 2014

Growth Spurt

The chicks have been growing astonishingly fast. This week they sprouted tiny combs and their wing feathers and back feathers are starting to fill in. At the beginning of the week, they were a mix of fine chick down and big feather nubs. Now they have only a few wisps of their chick-fuzz left.

I took them outside for a while yesterday afternoon and again this morning, and was pleased to see that they are a lot more proficient at foraging than they were last week. This morning I raked some of the top layer of soil off one of our garden beds, and they rushed right in to find all the little worms and bugs lurking there. They are definitely learning to operate as a flock; no one strays too far from the rest of the group, or they are quick to sound the alarm. I only managed to get a couple of individual shots--here's one of Lucille that shows off her new barred plumage and a perfectly respectable set of tail feathers.

And here's one of Mathilda that shows her new jet-black chest feathers. Right now she's pretty mottled in color, but in time she should be entirely black. Not sure if she'll remain pied-billed, but I hope so.

Capitola and Nettie still hang out together--I think of them as "the cousins," since they tend to stick close to one another, and they both look so similar. Here they are venturing into some leaf litter in the back of the yard--that's Nettie in the lower left, Capitola in the upper right.  Note how much darker Capitola's feathers are coming in; she looks like she'll be at the brown end of the Rhode Island Red spectrum.

And here's Fanny, looking large and in charge, as she is wont to do. While the other birds will run toward me when I call, or come up to me when I reach out a hand, Fanny has not quite decided whether I'm trustworthy. So even though she came up to check out my phone, she was keeping a close eye on me.

Of course, as I said, everyone's happiest when they're all together.

With the marathon (and post-marathon recovery) yesterday, and rain this afternoon, we didn't do much work on the coop this weekend, but I'm hoping for more progress this week.


  1. Well, it's not as though *nothing* happened with the coop today. I measured and marked some the bottom rails of the frame will be attached to the posts and did a little unbuilding of the old play structure we're repurposing to construct the frame. Then Pius Weibel stopped by to check on progress and we talked coop design, etc. till it began to rain and he helped me get all the tools back in the garage again.

    1. Note I said "we didn't do much work" on it, but actually I did no work!