We went away for 11 days and on our return I hardly recognize our little flock of chickens! They have taken a leap forward in their looks and behavior. When we left, they were still mostly huddling in the corner of their new coop, just beginning to venture out into the run when I coaxed them out with food.
Well, look at what I found when I opened the coop door. They were cozied up in the nesting boxes, strutting on the roosting bars, and flapping easily from one perch to another. I hardly recognize my Arauconas, the ones with the blue-green feet, who lay pastel eggs. The internet photos vary wildly so I did not know what to expect, but they are all developing fluffy cheeks and deep dramatic coloring. They also seem to be the ones with the largest tails that fan out when they strut around.
I put together a fenced in box in their run and threw in some of the weeds I’d pulled from my flower beds. Once the first chicken got brave enough to explore, the whole crowd ran over and they began picking through the pile like bargain hunters at a closeout sale.
I stood and watched for a while, and one chicken abruptly flopped over on her side and stretched out her leg in one direction and her wing in the other. It looked like she was sunbathing. Just as abruptly, four or five of the others plopped down on top of her and snuggled into the developing heap of lounging chickens, all on their sides with their wings and tails all intermingled. It looked so strange! I can only assume that this is typical chicken behavior, but nobody ever told me how entertaining they were going to be.
My (potential) rooster, Cooper, is growing quickly just as everyone else is. He is mostly white, but has begun sprouting deep brown feathers across his back. I wonder what this is going to turn into. One of the big Arauconas has begun to bully the others and I am wondering if this is the normal development of the pecking order or if she is going to turn out to be a “he.”