My, how time flies! It seems like only last week that Mama and her Blue Laced Red Wyandotte buddy hatched four chicks, and those little fluffballs are already five weeks old!
They hatched several days apart...one the first day, two the next day...and the little straggler three days after that. All four put their feathered jackets on quickly, as chickies do, and now only the little baby has any down left. They're entering their gawky tween stage...funny growing feathers sticking out oddly on the backs of their little heads, sizing one another up to determine hierarchy.
Paul went tuna fishing recently and set up his fish cleaning/packaging station right near the brooding coop, so Mama and the chicklets got many, many snacks of raw tuna. I'm pretty sure they like Paul better than me...protein-based bribes tend to do that!
I may be moving the whole bunch back into the main coop with the rest of the flock over the weekend. I'm nervous about it, because re-introducing chickens who have been separated usually causes the flock to reset boundaries and pecking order, and I've never introduced chicks to an adult flock before. I've been assured that Mama will put the fear of Chicken God into any who dare torment her babies. I hope that's true. I also hope the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte hen who helped hatch them remembers and becomes another champion for them. At any rate, it has to be done...the chicks are getting big enough now that the brooder isn't going to big enough for the whole family for long, and I'd really, really like Mama to go back to the business of laying eggs. Fall is coming, which means the annual moult isn't far behind, so my egg production will decrease for that anyway.
They got a short taste of freedom yesterday. I wish they weren't so hard to photograph.
At two weeks old.