Sunday, June 29, 2014

flight feathers

The chicks are growing.  And their feathers are changing from the fluffy downy monochromatic coloring they had when they first came to us into feathers with more defined shaping, the center shaft stronger and thicker for flight.  There are emerging colorful spots, here and there, on their necks and glimpses just above their wings of their adult coloring.  In my opinion, they are going to be a gorgeous flock for us.   I know.  Looks aren't everything. 

Possible Rooster is developing a mane.

Sumo, still fuzzy faced, but more mature.



Tiny.  Not so tiny anymore, but still quite bonded with Possible Rooster.

Luckily, despite their changing feathers, they still have their fluffy bottoms.  I do so love their fluffy bottoms.

Possible Rooster is going to be quite a looker.  

And she or he has a very sweet personality thus far.

They are mastering the ramp out of the coop, no longer needing to be lifted down to get to the ground.

Tiny's Sister is often the first out, stretching and standing up straight.

We head down to the coop each day to spend time with them, handle them, and make sure they are staying comfortable and gentle with us.  Julia an Elliott are quite skilled with them and are committed to raising them by hand.

And also, Elliott and Julia are still schooling them.  Right now, they are teaching the chicks to fly.  They remove the ramp from the door to the coop.  And try to give them flying lessons.  Which is funny, coming from the flightless humans that we are.

The take off is rather awkward and they seem a bit nervous about it.

Others take a more confident approach.

Sometimes much to the surprise of their teachers.

And some are still working on directions.  And learning just what fencing is.

Once on the ground, there is a good deal of fluttering and fluffing and silliness and some chicken pecking order antics, which they seem not to do when they are in the smaller space of the coop.  I would have guessed it might be the other way around.  But something about being outside and freer causes Possible Rooster to show her true feathers.

And Sumo still wants to wrestle.  Or ride a friend like a bucking bronco.

But they are quite comfortable with each other, and are spending more and more time each day outside, scratching the dirt and playing and learning to take dirt baths.  And they are turning out to be the perfect backyard flock.  With some devoted caretakers.

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