Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crazy Chicks Trash Condo

Over the past three weeks the chicks have grown wildly. Last week it became obvious that we needed to expand their little brooder home, so we built them an addition. Now they have a lovely little chick condo with vanishing edge walls of glass (okay, plastic walls precariously cantilevered over the stairs) and a mod, stainless steel connecting corridor (well, really a big coffee can), dividing their living space into sleep & poop and eat/drink & poop. They seemed to be adjusting quite well to their new digs.

Then, a new cleaning agency was employed at the condo: one whose wisdom included pine shavings conservation and warned against the excessiveness of two layers of paper towels. Well, the chicks, pretty well pampered up to this point, wouldn’t stand for such scrimping and trashed the place! Within an hour they were rolling on the naked plastic floor, poop was everywhere, and there were no signs that the mayhem would stop! So the old cleaning lady, who had only taken a day off, had to be called back in.

This is Barbie running from the backroom to check out the hub-bub. (I really should not have used flash here - poor thing.)

Here you can see the lovely feather patterns emerging on Hermione, one of the Golden-laced Wyandottes, and on one of the barred Plymouth Rocks below.

At three weeks, they look more like turkeys than chicks or hens (what I call transitional chicks) and many of them have become slightly skittish, but they still have quirky little personalities and are fun to watch. For the record, they don't usually sleep all bunched up as shown in that picture. They must have been cold this morning despite the fact that the brooder is supposed to at 80 degrees now and it's actually a bit warmer.

We're all excited because it's supposed to be 80 degrees outside this weekend and we plan to bring the ladies outside. There'll be no living with them after that.

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