Chick Update

I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and did a little happy dance. It’s been well over a month since we’ve had any precipitation here (except for a couple of minor sprinkles that didn’t even get the ground wet), so my garden is suffering, as I’ve been avoiding watering too much in an effort to not drain our well dry. We (stupidly) didn’t have our rain barrels set up before the last major rainfall, thinking we still had lots of time. June is fairly wet in these parts (in fact, we often call it Junuary), so gardens usually have time to get well established before the heat and dry weather sets in, but not this year, so many of my plants aren’t as far ahead as I’d like them to be.

What is growing like crazy is our brooder full of chicks! They quickly outgrew their 3 X 3 enclosure in our mudroom and needed a larger space to roam. As fate would have it, someone offered up some large plywood shipping crates on Freecycle that week, and we snapped one up to house the chickens until we get the coop finished.

The box is about 4 1/2 feet by 5 1/2 feet, by 18 inches tall, and we added a row of 2 x 10’s around the top so they can try out their wings without flying out entirely (although we’re going to have to add a screen on top very soon, because they’re getting close). Because of its size, we’ve had to put the new brooder downstairs. This spot is ideal, because they get direct sunlight for some of the day, and at night we lay cardboard across most of the top to keep in the heat.

Princess keeping an eye on things.

The kids like the new brooder because there’s room enough for them to climb in for a visit!

As for the chicks themselves, they’re growing like weeds! Everyone is healthy and happy and quickly becoming like members of the family. I don’t usually like to play favorites, but I think I have one. She’s a Speckled Sussex, and I think she’s just about the prettiest thing ever. She runs and hops into my hand whenever I stop by to say hello, and if I take her out to hold her, she curls up and falls asleep in the crook of my neck, trilling happily to herself.

Her sister, however, is not such a fan, and refuses to be held. I can tell them apart not only by their reactions to me, but because the cuddly one has those dark spots just above her beak.

Another favorite is Reepicheep (named after the warrior mouse in Prince Caspian – click here to see a clip from the movie), my son’s Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. She’s an adventurous gal who loves to play. Here you see her enjoying a horsey ride. You’ve heard of a boy and his dog? Well, I think we might have to revise that a bit…

The mystery of the Faverolles also seems to have been solved, as their feathers have come in enough for us to tell whether they are male and female, and the consensus seems to be that we have one of each (yay!). The female is called Sadie, and the male has been dubbed Alan A’Dale, after a character in Robin Hood who was portrayed by a singing rooster in the Disney version (click play below to watch a clip – careful, the song is really catchy!).

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