The Feather Babies: 1 Week on

Well, the feather babies are more than one week old now, 10/11 days old to be precise, but I was prevented from blogging sooner due to a small child taking me captive. The Little Fulla, on top of getting a cold, had developed separation anxiety from me at bedtimes. It took me a while to realise that was the main cause of ‘the lost evenings’, but now that I know, we are working through it and steadily reducing the hours it takes to get him to sleep at night, which peaked at four-and-three-quarter hours of in and out and crying. Yikes. Thank goodness feather babies are much less complicated! Well, to me anyway. Frodo might not think so.

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Boing! Some of the feather babies like to jump on Frodo.
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Everyone has been hanging out in the run a lot. Legolas and Sam at the front, Elrond, Frodo and the chicks behind.

The chicks have grown a fair bit, although they still look like pipsqueaks. Their tiny wee wing feathers are coming through, replacing the fluff. I have been trying to figure out how many are black and how many are blue. Despite a lot of peering and squinting, I’m still not sure yet. I think most of them are black, but at least two are blue: Little Spot and The Smoky Chick. I think. One of the others may be blue too. Then again, it could be purple.

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The Smoky Chick sometimes looks blue and sometimes blackish.

The chicks are funny little characters. They are becoming more independent, running around finding things to eat, climbing on things, including Frodo, and taking themselves to the water bell when they’re thirsty. Frodo gets to walk around more now and is very good at alerting them to food sources. Except when the food source is the dirty litter I’m cleaning out of the coop. No! Don’t eat the poop Frodo!

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And then I think this one is different from the above two… Orange Toe?

Today, Frodo let the chicks venture out into the wider pen for the first time. Well, the first time that I’ve seen. She quickly discovered the treats bowl and proceeded to feed her babies globs of food from it. That turned into Frodo feeding everyone, as Sam and Legolas hoed in on the takeaways. Only Elrond was left standing a little distance away. I think he was wondering why Frodo had taken his job. He normally feeds Legolas, and Sam if she’ll let him, out of the treats bowl. But I think he was glad to have everyone out and about anyway. They have all been spending more time in the run where Frodo has been keeping her babies.

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Frodo scratches up some ground for the chicks to dig around in.
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Frodo (centre) feeds everyone while Elrond the rooster wonders what happened to his job.
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Their fluffy bums are too cute.

People keep asking me what I’m going to do with the chicks. I’m still thinking about it. It really depends what they turn out like. I want to start breeding some good quality Australorps for myself and to sell. If I’m going to breed things, I want to do it well. This means research. I like research. And that is a complete understatement. I have been researching about the breed, reading the Australian standards, which are available online, and perusing some forums. I’d like to get, I mean must have, the New Zealand Poultry Standards handbook for myself. I am starting to get an idea of what makes a good Australorp and what to look for in my young’uns, but I may ask around for some advice too. Ideally, I would like to keep two pullets, one black and one blue, for now (I can always get more later) but it really depends what their conformation is like. I will have to keep them all until pullet stage or older to be able to ascertain which ones are the best quality. The hard part is going to be setting emotional attachments aside in order to get good quality chickens. And then there’s the part about the boys. Whilst doing my research, I may have stumbled across some pictures of blue Australorp roosters. Now I’m screwed if one of my chicks is a blue boy, because I want one. Boy, are they pretty! Oh, the problems I have… But in general, the fate of the boys will either be the pot or I will sell them. Time will tell…

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Pie popped out from under Frodo’s wing when Elrond crowed. Hmm. Does that mean he/she is a he?

5 thoughts on “The Feather Babies: 1 Week on

  1. Hello there, cuties!!! 🙂

    They are getting so big! Claire had her wee little ones outside about three days after they all hatched, but its been so warm here. It’s autumn in Australia now, isn’t it?

    And how is Sam? I’m hoping feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re in New Zealand, which, contrary to popular belief is a different country and land mass to Australia. 😉 But we do have the same seasons as them. It is winter now. Not what I was planning for a batch of chicks but they seem to be doing well. It has been a pretty mild winter so far though so that helps. I guess it’s in their nature to have to grow up fast.

      I’m still not entirely sure about Sam. She is much happier being with Frodo but has started looking a bit down again the last few days. It’s hard to tell if it’s the moulting or something else. It is a long slow moult and seems to be taking it’s toll on her a bit. I just have to try and keep an eye on her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poor Sam! I have a hen acting similarly. It’s hot here and she’s just… off somehow. I put her in a crate yesterday in the cool part of the barn with food and electrolytes in her water. She perked up some but not all back to normal. Planning to watch her and see what happens.

        Our Pip chick was a winter baby, too. He did fine, as you can see, except for the only child thing he had going on. I don’t recommend that again. He’s such a loner. We’re planning to send the younger boys to freezer camp soon and I worry about Pip’s ability to interact with new girls because he is so standoffish and shy around them.

        Claire’s babies are getting a totally different experience. It’s hot and she barely has to sit on them them keep them warm. They’re feathering out fine now and learning to do so much! Even wandering away from her at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. They’re all such gorgeous birds! Just loving your pics. It is difficult to decide what to do with the chicks. We keep looking at ours, wondering and wondering. It’s hard when theyre all so endearing in their own little ways and you’ve seen them grow up. I had no idea there were blue Australorps till I saw yours. They’re so pretty! It’ll be interesting to see how your chicks feather up :). Exciting times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, the blues are really something. I think they’re more common here, but Australorps in general don’t seem to be as common as a lot of the other breeds. Which is probably a good thing for me… =) But yes, it will be hard to know what to do with them.

      Liked by 1 person

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