Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Chicks First Outing

On the one non-raining, half-way warm day we've had recently (can't remember when that was now) here in Connecticut, I took the chicks outside. The boyfriend, Erik, was over for Kelsey's 14th birthday celebration so I had the two lovebirds help me set up the plastic circular barrier I got for the kittens outside in the sun. We then loaded the babies in a cat carrier and took them out the cellar door into their first outdoor adventure. They are shown here, pretty freaked out by the whole thing.

On a side note, we lost one of Silver Spangled Hamburgs (shown on the left) last apparent reason. I had just checked on them about 2 hours earlier and when I went into the basement again, one of the smaller girls was dead. I was reminded of how fragile baby chicks can be. It was sad, but admittedly not as tragic as when I lose a kitten.

The chicks grow visibly every day. When I first got them, their wings were little helpless appendages, like the front legs of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now they can actually fly short distances with full feathers (not chick fuzz) on a wingspan of about 8 inches in the Americaunas.

The Americaunas (shown to the right) are much larger now than the Hamburgs and are proving to be less flighty and more curious. One of them, Fenix, is already showing an interest in me. I can get them to perch on my hand fairly easily although I have to chase the Hamburgs around the brooder to get them first. Having had parakeets before, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I prefer chickens. They're not as intelligent as parakeets, but they don't bite and they tend to stay perched on a finger. I can't tell you how many times a parakeet has drawn blood on my hands in the past.

We kept the chicks outside about an hour, completely supervised at all times of course. By the end of the hour, they had relaxed enough to start scratching and pecking at the grass. Now if only it'll stop raining for a day so I can take them out again.

Kelsey and Erik become Chick Handlers

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