Chick Days Are Here Again

 

DSC_4911Is there anything sweeter than chick days?  They are little and adorable.  There is bird song in our home all hours of the day.  Gentle, joyous chirping from the closed guest room door.  Their personalities begin to emerge.  Namaste is sweet and content to stay in my hand.  Yoga likes to sit and watch me do yoga.  Buttercup is dead set on escape.  And Bobbi and Chi Chi (Maryjane named them) are frantic.  The unnamed Marans and the owl-like Araucana just follow the crowd.

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The grass is growing higher in their chicken yard and a huge pile of old compost waits for their sing song clucking and digging.  I can see them in my mind, rolling, gossiping, kicking up dirt in their luxurious dust baths.  The sounds of an urban farm are soothing against the traffic.  And inside the warm guest room with its red light glow holds little souls new here and joy in every new feather.

 

The Odd Chick Out

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Let’s play a game, “Which one doesn’t belong?”  I think I used to watch that game on Sesame Street.  This game involves small puppet like creatures as well.  The three Cuckoo Marans that I brought home were very tiny and adorable.  The smallest melted my heart from the get go.  She was smaller than the other chicks and kept getting her bottom mucked up.  I had to clean her backside so much her tail feathers didn’t grow in for a long time!  She waddles around with the other nine chickens, smaller and prettier.  After the first few weeks I noticed that Louisa was lighter colored than Liesel and Brigitta.  While Liesel and Brigitta have decidedly rich dark brown feathers with little white spots, their little sister has white and almost blue feathers.  I told Doug, “I don’t think she is a Marans.”  Yesterday I noticed the cute little comb forming….Wait a ticket, I think we are on to something here.  The other girls do not have their combs yet.  Nor their wattles.  And this darling little girl is already growing both before all of her feathers are even in.

Hello handsome.

So, my chicken folk out there, am I right?  Is Louisa really a Louis?

His daily kisses have been doubled as I want the most spoiled, friendly rooster out there.  I thought we could name him Capt. Von Trappe, since we have all the Von Trappe singers over here (except Louisa apparently), but it was nixed almost immediately.  “Mr. Higgins!” Shyanne loudly called out.  “His name must be Henry Higgins.”  Andrew and Emily quickly agreed.  Doug wanted the name to be Colonel.  He was outvoted in a loud teenaged manner.

My Fair Lady is Shyanne’s favorite play.  When pronouncing Mr. Higgins’ name, one must take care to keep the H silent and you must have a bit of an English accent when addressing him.  “Allo, Enry Iggins!”

Meanwhile inside the coop, when the big sisters are out to play, the babies have a hey day.  Should you peek into the coop mid-day you will find what looks like the inside of Santa’s workshop with toys flying lopsided in circles.  Little toy chickens flying here and there, crash landing, then stealing their big sisters’ food.  Adorable.

We are not afraid to admit it, we are officially Chicken People….and I think we have a rooster.

Chick Magnet

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The girls are looking fine.  We have only lost one of the infants (thus far and hopefully total!) and the girls are already showing vast personalities and trying to fly out of their plastic storage container.  They ended up back in Emily’s room because of the cold snap that we did not expect.  Two below zero is a smidge cold for little chickies.  Emily is not pleased but is being a good sport.  She is the only one with a cat proof room!  They were banished last night from her bedside, however, for being stinky, loud, and jumping out of the box.  When one of them escaped and pooped on her makeup box, that was the end of that.  They are now in the bathtub (in her bathroom).  New moms are no fun.

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The Polish girls, Aretha Franklin and Ginger Rogers are looking more and more like Billy Idol.  We all went through some funky stages as teenagers though.

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My angelic little Buff Orpingtons.  They are the smallest of the bunch and look like a quintessential Easter chick.

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This is one of three Cuckoo Marans.  They look like they have bald spots on their heads.  Like little old men running around!  The two Buff girls and the three Marans are named Gretel, Marta, Louisa, Brigitta, and Liesel.  Pop quiz!  Where are those names taken from?

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This is Nala, our little leopard Araucana.  The Araucanas are so cool looking!  (Yes, I know.  Nala was a lion, not a leopard.)

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I just kept calling this gorgeous Araucana, Falcon.  She looks just like a miniature wild bird.  Her new name though is Sophia.

We have one more yellow Araucana with a brown halo.  Emily advised me not to name her Angel as that is too predictable.  (Guess what I was going to name her?) We’ll see what her name becomes.  I asked Doug what he thought would be a good name.  He said it didn’t matter because he will never be able to tell them apart.  “You can’t tell them apart?!”  Maybe I have too much time on my hands.

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I am incredibly nervous about integrating them with the big chickies.  I don’t want any massacres or injuries.  I know that you sneak them in with means of a dog kennel and the chickens think that they were always there.  But, I think Daffodil will remember.  How do you integrate new chicks to the flock?