Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicks Are Two Weeks Old

Time flies!  Our babies are already 2 weeks old (Today is Day 15 to be precise.).  They are starting to have more feathers coming in with downy fluff disappearing little by little. T_T  But they're still so fun to watch.  This past week, the weather has warmed up considerably (above seasonal average), so we have decided to let them try the run by opening the access to the ramp.

This pic was taken on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  They would only take a few steps onto the ramp, so Jr. helped the chicks out of the coop and into the run for the first time.  They had so much fun with more space!

They forage quite well, scratching with their legs and picking stuff up.  Their eyes are quite keen, and ants and other small insects don't stand a chance.

At first, they stayed close to one another while they explored the run.

This crossbar posed a bit of a challenge at first.  It's interesting to see the different styles of problem solving among the chicks.  Sage (black and light yellow) hopped right over the obstacle like no big deal.  She is the smallest of the group, but by far, the most agile.  The other two walked under the crossbar limbo-style.  They did that for a day, then started hopping right over on Friday.

Mocha: "I'm getting the hang of this ramp thing!  Why walk all the way down when you can fly off?"

Vanilla - light yellow with light brown and grey markings.

They didn't figure out how to get back into the coop until Saturday, which was also the first time they came down the ramp on their own.  Sometimes two chicks would be in the coop while one got left behind in the run.  Whenever that happened, the one that got lonely would chirp quite loudly, calling for help.  (But the other two were usually quite oblivious...)  So we did a little bit of intervening whenever this happened.

Fiona, one of our mature hens, seemed to like the chicks right away.  She would come by the little ones' run and check them out without causing a stir or making any threatening gesture.  Dorito, on the other hand, studied the chicks on Thursday, while they were still in the coop at the top of the ramp, and started squawking like mad and wouldn't stop until I gave her treat to eat to distract her.  This lasted for 2 1/2 days.  I've never heard her vocalize quite this loudly - ever!  She finally calmed down about the little ones on Saturday afternoon.  Complained just slightly on Sunday, and finally settled down on Monday.  *sigh of relief*  Now both Fiona and Dorito would walk around the younguns' run calmly without the drama.

This afternoon, I found Vanilla (light yellow and brown) taking a dust bath... right next to the water bowl. LOL  I had to move the water bowl away from the hole she had made for herself for dust bath.  It's so fun to watch the chicks do this.  Some start this a lot earlier than the others.  They look completely dirty with dry dirt all over their feathers, but they seem utterly content.  Our older girls do this all over the backyard side by side.  Some of the holes get rather deep. ^^;

We have our Square Foot Garden boxes sectioned off with chicken wire fencing to keep the girls out.  They're quite destructive with their strong feet (and their appetite for greens).  Some of the new purchases I made yesterday at the garden center includes this gorgeous delphinium plant.  :D  The sky blue gets deeper as the blooms mature.  Just gorgeous!  I'm going to be planting this in the front flower bed along with irises and roses.

Also bought yesterday was this "German Queen" tomato (heirloom).  Supposed to grow quite tall and bushy so I'm thinking of taking her out into the far back and giving her a plenty of room to grow with staking.  I've never tried growing this variety before.  In 2012, another heirloom was planted, but did poorly in the box, so I'm going to take her out back to my old gardening plot with plenty of room.

"Indigo Rose" hybrid tomato.  Fruits go from 'purple and green' to 'purple and red'.  Something I have never seen at the local garden center before, so I thought I'd give it a try. :D  I'm excited about this one.

"White Eggplant".  I've always grown the slender Japanese "Ichiban", but been bitten by the 'try something new' bug this season. ^_^

Zebra Iris from our back yard near our tiny 'goldfish pond'.  The girls were eating the leaves when they were first coming up about a month ago, so these poor plants were delayed somewhat.   Still blooming beautifully now.  (And the pond area has been sectioned off with chicken wire fencing once again.)

Strawberry patch (One of our SFG boxes is dedicated entirely to strawberries.) is looking strong after an application of blood meal and bone meal earlier in the season.  Look at these tiny fruits already! :D

I found this yesterday.  After a disappointing late frost killed all the tender flower clusters in April (We've been denied a full show for the 3 seasons in a row... T_T ), I saw these two clusters blooming beautifully.  You can see the remains of the dead flower clusters all over in the background.  It would have been quite a show had all of these survived.  Better luck next year!

Found this yesterday in the front yard, also.  A luscious pink peony~!!  Love the ruffles of petals.  Just so pretty!!  We have deep burgundy, pink, and white peonies.  The pink ones are my favorite. ^_^

I'm still behind with the planting project around the house.  Hopefully, I'll get it all done eventually, and get to take photos of pretty flowers and robust vegetables all season long.  

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