04 June 2009

Spring chickens

Now that the chicks are almost five weeks old they have entered their awkward teenage stage where they no longer resemble chicks but don't yet have their full adult plumage. Plus, their combs are emerging as awkward skin-colored growths over their noses. In short, the girls look ugly, but they are as sweet as ever, especially towards Savannah.

Savannah feeds them by hand in the morning and afternoon. When I clean the brooder, one or two of the chicks will sit quietly in her lap as she pets their feathers. The distinguishing marks they had as chicks are covered by their feathers now so we can't tell them apart any longer, although some are more plump than the others.

Here they are enjoying the sunshine in their A-frame mini-tractor (I made it from leftover bits of lumber in our garage while recovering from mastitis). The top bar hangs over the frame to act as handles for easy carrying. It's light enough that Savannah can help carry it. The girls are acclimating themselves to the outdoors and to eating buggies. We should have ordered 60 chicks to control the bug population out here. The girls provide constant amusement. Today Savannah gave one a clover and she ran around with her prize in her beak, trying to keep it all to herself while her curious sisters chased her around in circles.

I was able to complete this project today because William helped out in his own important way:

Fast asleep in his carrier looking a little like a turtle and a little like a Buddha. (I think of Oogway, meaning tortoise in Mandarin, the wise Kung Fu master in Kung Fu Panda.)

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