Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Small Step

with 3 comments

Giant leap.

The hatch opened and our chicks took their first look at the outside world yesterday. We put up a temporary barrier to contain them to a small yard outside the coop for the training period where we familiarize them with the routine of navigating in and out of their fortress.

The Barred Plymouth Rock chicks are establishing themselves as the first to explore new opportunities, yet the Buff Orpingtons have frequently stepped past them to be the first to leap.

It surprises us a little because the former started out, and continue to remain, the smallest of the group, and the latter have always been the most skittish when activity picks up around them.

I figured the Rhode Island Reds would be the leaders, but they are proving to be more than willing followers thus far.

I wonder which of them will take a lead in ganging up and chasing off the first predator that shows up with nefarious intentions.

A guy can wish.

After Cyndie and I got the fencing installed, she hustled up to the house to prepare a little picnic lunch for us to eat while supervising the chicks’ recess period.

We witnessed a lot of hopping around on the ramp and moving in and out the door while we ate, but only one Plymouth Rock and one Buff took full advantage of the outing.

When Cyndie wanted to end their playtime, she stepped inside the courtyard with several birds on the ramp and the two on the ground. She decided to reach for one of the chicks on the ramp and in the ensuing bird startling, two other chicks made for earth.

Suddenly she had four opportunities to practice catching evasive chicks to teach them how to return to the coop when it’s time.

It was a giant leap of a day for us.

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Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Nice chicks!

    Ian Rowcliffe

    April 27, 2017 at 8:00 am

    • We are loving them! How are your chickens doing? Are they earning their keep around the grounds?

      johnwhays

      April 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

      • Oh, yes: perfect mini-tractors. I probably told you that they pick out all the seeds from the horse manure distributed around plants, finely tilling it. Hence, it feeds the plants rather than the seeds. Ours have a rooster to look out for them, though. I expect you know he has distinctive calls to indicate the presence of foxes and overhead hawks, such that the chickens take cover under nearby bushes in the case of hawks. Fortunately, I haven’t seen a fox approach yet – maybe because of the dog. (Clearly, if you have small delicate plants or seedlings, you have to protect them from the chickens, who also like fresh greens in their diet.)

        Ian Rowcliffe

        April 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm


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