The baby chicks are all grown up now. At four months the females are pullets-less than one year old female chickens. The ones that have turned out to be male (not too many) are trying out their crows and exhibiting roostery behavior-the brothers fighting a little bit, trying to mate, etc.
Here they are:
Row 1: Partridge Rock, Silver Sebright Bantam, Mystery Chick
Row 2: Golden Sebright Bantam, Mille Fleure (one of these turned out to be a boy), Black Silkie
Row 3: Buff Orpington, Mother Hen’s Twin Boys, New Hampshire Red
Row 4: Columbian Wyandotte, Mallard duck (female)
I just realized I forgot to include White Crested Black Polish hen in the mosaic. I don’t feel like remaking the whole thing, so here’s a fun comparison of baby and grown up:
We’ve had a week of a lot of crazy animal behavior at the house. These young chickens have all settled in really well. The fancy little breeds seem to stay together and they all go to bed at the same time as the older chickens now. They have many places in the yard and near the back door where they like to hang out during the day and I fancy that the Silkies like me as they fairly easy to catch and sometimes come over to me.
As for the ducks….We ended up discovering that there were two nests right there in the coop where the females had been laying their eggs. Some of the older eggs I blew, others I tossed. One of the ducks flew away and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’s having an adventure as she did once before. Meanwhile the remaining boy and girl have stopped (well, 3 nights now) going into the coop at night. One night they chose to just lie down by the back steps, last night we didn’t see them. Which means that the coop got locked up and the girl duck had to lay her egg in the middle of the driveway. Who knows where today’s egg is? Or where they slept last night. But they were here bright and early in the morning, so presumably it was in one of the many safe shrubbery places.
Meanwhile, speaking of eggs, it’s all kinds of chaos in the nesting boxes. Mother Hen is seriously broody again. She has chosen the same box as before. All the other hens keep climbing in (despite attempts of fencing her off) and laying their eggs in there. Which is wreaking all kinds of havoc. Broken eggs, upsetting mother hen, we’re not getting any eggs, there’s not enough room, etc. It’s totally frazzling me. It’s just occurred to me that maybe we’ll sequester her in a cage and see if she’ll take to that. Because I’m running out of eggs! And no way am I eating anything that is underneath her.
*Update: after posting this I went outside and set up a nest in the presently unused duck house and transferred the remaining eggs there, put Mother Hen in, and shut the door. Then I cleaned out the box, which smelled horrible, as it was lined with broken eggs. Mother Hen was also damp and coated in the icky stinky rotting goo and I tried to clean her off. She was pretty upset and when I opened the door she came out, happily abandoning the eggs. Her boyfriend (Rainbow Rooster) came over and they hung out together while she cleaned herself up. Then a hen had to lay her egg so she went into the middle box. Mother Hen ran over and got on top of it. I collected the fresh egg and left her. Later I refilled the #1 box and just now I discovered that Mother Hen is back in it, crazy broody as ever, and apparently not caring that she has no eggs under her.
As for the other animals, the guinea pigs are cute, the cats are cute, and dear gentle Pippin surprised everyone (including himself) by rather viciously and enthusiastically killing a young groundhog.