Chick Update

Things have been particularly busy at Twiglet Homestead lately, but I thought I better do a quick (haha ‘quick’) post about the chicks. Because everybody needs some cuteness. The two chicks are three weeks old tomorrow. How did that happen?! They are doing well and Frodo has them all over the pen now, teaching them her expert foraging and general life skills.

The chicks: Junior (front) and PB (back).

There were a few little challenges to Frodo when she started hanging around in the pen, more notably from Kitty and Jane. Kitty is the dominant one of the younger three hens, who are now 20 weeks old. So, it was kind of natural for Kitty to have a crack at Frodo to see if this not-really-new-but-hasn’t-been-around-with-us-properly hen could be put beneath her in the pecking order. Nope. Especially not while Frodo’s a protective mother. It did surprise me, however, when Jane had a wee crack at Frodo. I dare say Jane is enjoying having three younger hens beneath her and it has gone to her head. Jane was swiftly put back in her place.

Kitty is a very pleasant hen. But she is boss of the younger hens.
Lizzie (back) and Jane (front). Jane has gained some confidence from having subordinates, plus getting to hang out with Mr Bingley more while Frodo is otherwise engaged.

Frodo has been more protective about these babies than her others, whether because there are only two, because there are more curious and potentially threatening hens around or both, I’m not sure. This has made it more difficult to handle the chicks. I have to corner them somewhere away from her, often only possible in the big cage, otherwise she quickly rushes over and pecks my reaching hand. I have been holding them briefly almost every day but I really need to spend more time with them.

The chicks have a decent amount of feathers coming through now. PB, the purebred Australorp, has lovely dark lacing and is looking more boyish to me. Junior, the Lydia-Mr Bingley 3/4 Australorp, doesn’t have the same definition in lacing at the moment, but we shall see. I’m still not sure whether Junior is a he or a she, but I’m still hoping she. He/she is still very handling-shy and clingy to Frodo and not as curious as PB, which I’m hoping points to being a girl, but I’m not so sure about his/her current comb size. PB is also bigger and is feathering up faster.

PB is curious about the world. Junior is scared of the world.
Junior barely stays still and is hard to get good photos of.

These feather babies are so cute. It’s hard not to get lost in time just watching them. This evening, I was a bit slow to go out and re-open the big cage for Frodo and the chicks. I found them in the coop, chatty Frodo on the roost and the confused chicks running around on the floor. Erm, I don’t think they’re big enough to get up there yet, Frodo! A few curious hens poked their heads in the door to see what was going on and got assaulted by Frodo from above. I haven’t gotten a bigger coop yet, so Frodo and the chicks will be better off in the big cage for a while longer.

And some photos from last week…

Frodo teaches the chicks how to get into the main coop. It didn’t take long for once. It is so much easier to get two chicks up the ramp than 10! And these two are smart. I didn’t have to help at all.

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