Sunday, June 5, 2011

Leaps and bounds

When we got Abby, Frannie and Mabel last summer we were told they were around 3 to 4 weeks old.  Looking at our babies now, and comparing their size, that looks to be about right.  But looks is pretty much where the similarities end.

It's crazy how advanced our little ones are compared to their aunties when we got them last summer.  Almost since day 1, Pearl and Elsa have been using their feet to scratch around in their wood shavings.  They've been dust bathing since week 2 and flapping their wings and escaping their box at the first chance they get.  We've have to upgrade to taller and taller boxes twice now and still, they find a way out.  (We've given up at this point.)

Abby, Frannie and Mabel took several days to try to fly out of their box and they were at least 5 weeks old before they realized what to use their feet for.  Dust bathing came way later once they were outside chickens and it took Frannie several weeks to teach the other two how it was done.  I don't know if this difference is because the older ladies were stuck in a crappy place stuffed into a small bin with dozens of their sisters but the difference is huge.  And I can't take any credit for it because I know I didn't teach these new babies how to do any of this stuff.  Instincts are strong.  I just hope this means that these ladies are healthier and we won't have to deal with illness and sudden death like we did with the first ones.

Here's a video of their most recent new trick.  Elsa is a WAY better flier that Pearl (her wings are considerably longer) and she can maneuver herself pretty good.

They pretty much spend most of their day hanging out on the side of their box, pooping out the side into the bathtub or into their food and water.  Awesome.  Just because they're babies doesn't make their poop any less gross to clean up.
They're quickly losing their fluff.
This weekend we took advantage of the weather and gave another try at outside time.  This time, the babies only freaked out for about 2 minutes until they realized that being outside is the bomb.  Within 10 minutes of being out, several rollie pollies, a grub, a slug, and a whole bunch of dandelion heads had bit the dust and were resting (un)comfortably in their crops.  They were so happy.  (The babies were, that is.)

Fun velociraptor action shot.
The heat lamp is going to be turned off in a couple days since they're getting enough feather coverage to keep warm and their coop is now officially under construction.  (Pictures of that to come soon.)  I think they may be able to go out sooner than their aunties did so now it's pretty much crunch time.

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