Two weeks living with chickens, and they are beginning to exhibit some entertaining personalities. As babies, they would peep continuously but with their beaks closed so I could not tell who was saying what. Now, the larger ones have begun to use big birdy voices — chirps and squawks and warbles. If you look fast, you can sometimes spot the speaker with his mouth open to project his voice.
I am fascinated by the rapid growth of their feathers. Their patterns on their wings are becoming quite beautiful. Their little tails are sprouting as well and downy feathers have begun to shed and float up into the air when there is excited movement in the cage. I did a little photo shoot with one of the braver chicks so he could show off his new colors.
They are getting frisky with their new wing muscles and feathers. After breakfast, they will begin strutting about and every few minutes one will hop straight up into the air and flap its wings a few inches across the cage, startling the rest of the flock into a panicked scatter until they realize it was one of their own and they resume whatever important tasks they were doing.
I folded back the rug on the top of the cage that holds in the heat, and opened the cage door. This provided a rare view out the ceiling and they were fascinated by the new possibilities. The bolder ones hopped out into the outer box and pecked at the newly accessible landscape. In a burst of flapping wings, one tried to fly out of the box but did not have quite the power to escape (yet.) Maybe after another week I’ll let them out into the screen porch to explore the wide open spaces.
After they all get their fill of breakfast, they sip from their water feeder and then begin to nestle into their napping places. The roost I made is popular for some reason and they line up like birds on a wire, balancing on the wobbly stick, and slowly let their beaks droop and their sleepy eyelids close, sometimes tucking a head under a wing. Some prefer to squat down in the food tray or the pine shavings and drop their beaks right to the floor like they were squashed and dead. I figured out in the first week that this was nothing to be alarmed at, just normal sleeping behavior. If I make a noise they all pop their heads up in alarm to check out the danger but then sink right back down into sleep. Goodnight, little babies!