Saturday, 4 July 2015

6 weeks (and 3.5 weeks) old

The table birds are 6 weeks old.  They are growing well, and are now relatively happy to be carried to and from the shed each day.  If we didn't have such young chicks as well, they'd be living in the Cube on the lawn by now.

The younger birds are also fabulous. They are also, mostly, calm when carried Its great having such a spread of ages, as we can see the development across the flock.

The eldest of the bought-in chicks is the cuckoo maran.  This one is really intelligent, does everything sooner than anyone else (including the older table birds), and learns a lot by watching Gloria.   I've clung on to the faint hope that last year "Big Bird" was enormous, had a big comb very early on, but tuenred out to be a girl.  However, Big Bird isn't a maran.   I looked online, and it isn't looking hopeful.
Pugsley, 5 weeks old but as big (or bigger) than the dinner birds

In the last couple of days, the colouring on his gfeathers has separated out from being a marled black to being a definite cuckoo.   If he does turn out to be a boy,  and if he carries on being a sweetie and doesn't turn nasty,  then we may have to run two flocks at the allotment.  Marans make good table bird crosses, and we have 3 hens at the allotment that we can't cross with Henry anyway,  so it might work.  It would certainly be a good way to keep the blood lines fresh.

The Appenzeller, already the cutest little thing,  is getting cuter by the day.  I wish I'd taken photos of himher a weeks or so ago, before the crest developed.  It's getting bigger every day. Yesterday it seemed to be very fine, today it's like a "bog brush".

S/he is the tiniest thing. So small in comparison to the others that I wonder if s/he's a bantam version.  S/he's not very good at being able to peck things.  When offered worms, hisher beak lands in the wrong place,  I suspect s/he has no depth perception.

I really hope this little poppet turns out to be a girl.

3.5 weeks old?

We have 2 araucana, one of each sex.  I think the one with the longer tail is female and the other is male, but I'm not sure.
3.5 weeks old - boy?

Pugsley(R) and the f? araucana

3.5 weeks old - girl?

And then last, but not least, is the Wyandotte. No idea.

They've been out free ranging (within a netted area) for the past four days. They seem very content.

Gloria, who has been allowed out wherever she wants while Poppy is broody,  spends a lot of time next to the chicks netting.  She chases them off when they get close.

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