It’s been approximately four weeks since we got our baby chicks and the change they have gone through has been quite interesting to watch. I never realized how interesting chickens could be to watch and now I often find myself simply sitting and watching them move about in the grass as they discover little treasures to peck and scratch at. My goal is to keep a pictoral record of sorts as they continue to grow so we can look back at the development of their height, their features, the feathers, feet and so on. The changes in just two weeks since I last snapped their pictures has been unbelievable.
Launa the Araucana
Of course, at Murray McMurray Hatchery we sell the Araucana/Americana and I know there are differences and preferences for the respective true Araucana vs the forementioned. I think what most people don’t realize is the variety of colors that the Araucana/Americana can be. A picture from later in the season of our flock farms shows quiet a mixture of colors. Our catalog presently shows the breed as white but in fact they may appear in nearly six different colors. I suppose it is similar in their variety of shaded egg colors that really does make this a very interesting bird. Launa is probably the more energetic of the four breeds to date. If I had to designate a phrase that is showcased by her actions it would be “Don’t you sass me!”
Buffy the Buff Orpington
Buffy is filling out quite nicely and is the largest of the four breeds currently. She has already fit into her anticipated demeanor of being a more gentle, docile breed. The last one to the feeder and waterer and always the easiest to handle, Buffy offers a calming balance when the others are getting antsy.
Ester the Red Star (or Ester the Redster)
Ester the Red Star has been one of the more interesting birds to watch as she has gone through the most change to date. She started out looking fairly similar to the Buff Orpington with the addition of a small reddish patch down her back. She and Buffy no longer look anything alike as Ester’s red plummage is becoming very pronounced and her bright yellow legs quickly draw your eye compared to the others.
Polly the White Polish
My daughter really wanted a breed from the Top-Hat Special offering so the white polish is what we got. I was worried about Polly at first because I was told she might get pecked at because of her ‘crazy hair’. We haven’t noticed any of the other breeds picking on her yet and her ‘crazy hair’ has been really fun to watch grow. I think Polly is a little bit of a hypochondriac as her mannerisms are similar to Marlin (Nemo’s Dad) in “Finding Nemo” or perhaps Melman in “Madagascar”. If her chirping was English I just imagine her always saying “Girls, now wait, where are you going. Oh my, weather is coming in,…wait! wait! wait! I want to come along but I don’t think we should go there! Oh, Blahhah!” She is a beautiful white bird. Her ‘crazy hair’ and multiple personalities have been really fun to watch and learn. You can see she looks quite different in just two weeks in the below pictures.
I think our chicks have a bit of an ornery personality, collectively. I’ll blame it on the group because I haven’t singled out the culprit just yet. The problem is this: I’ve changed their waterer and feeder every day so far. We use wood chips for the bedding; I’ve continually raised the feeder and waterer with their growth, yet I still find both to be filled with the wood chips. I’m not sure if they are plotting against me or if this is just a natural thing for chickens to do but nevertheless, it’s getting old! I posted an entry on our Murray McMurray Hatchery Facebook page and I have received some sage advice on how to avoid, or reduce, the wood chip plottings so I’m anxious to try them out! I’ve seen chickens play the piano and do various tricks, so I’m wondering if I should train them to use a cup and utensils for dinner. It seems it would be easier.
Do you have pictures of your chicks over the course of several months? I’d be interested in seeing them. Feel free to post them to our Facebook page!