There has been so much drama in the chicken coop recently. For a few weeks the baby chicks have been sleeping in the coops nesting boxes, which was fine for a while but they leave a mess behind and as a result the laying chickens don’t want to lay their eggs in there anymore.
To fix all of this, and to gently nudge the baby chicks to the adult roosting bars, I decided last week that I was going to block the nesting boxes at bedtime. At dusk that first night, the baby chicks marched into coop to put themselves to bed and you would have thought they’d walked through a portal into another world. They peeped and paced and panicked….until one finally decided to try and walk up the ramp to the adult roosting bars. I watched on as Popcorn, one of our Mottled Cochins, made her way up to the bar. Then another chick followed her lead and everything seemed to be going okay until the adult chickens started to come in for bedtime. The big chickens one by one began chasing the baby chicks off the roost and out the coop door.
To quiet everyone down I finally decided to just build another roosting bar on the other side of the coop for the babies. I grabbed a 2×4 and attached it to the wall across from the old roosts. I put the baby chicks on the new roost but they eventually fell off one by one and then they couldn’t figure how to get back up again. And so again they peeped and paced and panicked. I borrowed the big chickens ladder and after guiding them up the ladder a dozen times after they fell they finally they figured it out. Phew. Here are the babies finally nestled on their bar and figuring it all out. Their sweet little trill is the sound they make as young chicks when they are saying goodnight. It means they are settling down so that’s a good sign. I was able to leave them for the night and not worry so much.
When I went to check on them the next night they had all remembered how to climb the ramp but one of the adult chickens had decided to join them: FoShizzle. I don’t think Foshizzle joined them on purpose though. With her huge feathery plume she can’t see the bars above her and so each night Fo just finds the ramp and follows it up to her perch. Eventually she must have realized that she’d climbed up to a different perch, the kiddie table. She seemed kind of annoyed that she ended up with all the babies:
Fo did hunker down right away and was trying to fall asleep while the babies crawled all over her trying to find a spot they liked on the bar. She’s a very patient chicken! I’m convinced that Foshizzle is just a kid at heart. Boo put Foshizzle on her handlebars this weekend and rode her around the yard a few times. Fo loved it:
I need my own Charlotte to spin a web with the words “SOME CHICKEN” because Fo is just that special.
The baby chicks (Popcorn, Palmer, Dolly and Twinkle) are getting so big. The Mottle Cochins look like they are wearing layers and layers of petticoats:
I love that not one of their feathers are the same:
And the Silkies look like they are part unicorn! (Not only do they have gray-blue feet and an extra toe, they also have cute little powder blue ears too that they won’t let me get a picture of.)
The Silkies are so fluffy. I never knew why until I started examining their feathers. In the photo below a regular chicken feather is on the left. The regular feather has little barbs on the strands that interlock and keep the strands connected together in kind of an orderly fashion. A Silkie feather is on the right. It lacks barbs and the strands just fly everywhere!
P.S. I would love to get a streaming live cam set up in the coop, especially at night….that can be shared on the blog. If anyone knows an efficient, inexpensive way to set something like that up I’d love some help! I’m just not much of a techie in that area and it seems like it might blow right through my chicken budget.