This is just a quick post to let you know that I haven’t disappeared. Like I mentioned, my parents and brother came up from California for a visit and so things were a bit hectic around here for a few days and I really didn’t get the chance to take pictures or write posts. I will get some good pics tomorrow and do a nice long post to make up for it.
Anyway, my visit with the fam was to do things like show off my chickens and make garden and landscaping plans. As is to be expected, Lady B took immediately to Matthew and they were good friends over these past few days. She always hopped right up on a ramp or a perch to see him and would hop on his arm or shoulder or head and hang out. She also let him hold her and snuggle with her and a good time was had by all. That was my one, brief photo session over these past few days.
My dad and Matthew both worked on catching some of the others and holding them until they calm down but none of them are crazy about it at all yet. However, a few are starting to show decent potential for future snuggliness. One of my Marans that I hope is a girl and another that I am sure is a rooster are tops in the running. The little roo, I have been calling “Scruffy” because he is the most awkward of the chicks at this point – some bare-ish patches and uneven feather growth and basically no tail even still. However, he regularly squares off with JB in sparring matches and is the victor as often as the loser and has a quite red comb and the beginnings of wattles, so I feel comfortable in guessing he’s a boy. He is also definitely one of the smarter chicks – WAY smarter than JB, who is kind of doofy. The one opportunity we got to let them out of the coop during the visit was yesterday during a brief break in the rain and wind, and Matthew spent his time digging up worms to feed to the chickies. Scruffy quickly caught onto this and came running over to Matthew every time he got up from the clump of dirt where he was digging. Soon he was jumping up into the air and stealing the worms from Matthew’s hands before he could even get to the other birds. I think Scruffy ate about 20 worms yesterday. At this point, if I have to give away one of the two boys (and there may be as many as four, but the jury is still out), it would be a tough decision. JB is so huge at this point and is really turning into a strong, hansome man that he seems like he would be a good protector. However, Scruffy is infinitely more likable at this point and is quite possibly way smarter, which is another point for him. We’ll just have to see.
Anyway, point is, Scruffy lets you pet him a bit but still isn’t crazy about it – but I think he might come around. And the little hen is starting to want to jump onto my lap and she doesn’t run away when I walk past her or reach down around her, and if I lightly brush her with my hand, she doesn’t seem to mind, so I think she has potential as well. As for the others – the Buff Oringtons are among the first to come running whenever they think there’s potential for treats and they are most certainly not afraid of people at all, plus they love to peck at my clothes and my rings… but they aren’t crazy about being touched still. JB is bold and likes to come over and peck hard at my clothes and shoes, etc, and also likes to jump on my lap… but if I so much as move a hand near him he squeaks and jumps away like I burned him or something. The rest of the bunch – Daisy Mae and the other Ameraucanas, Mystery Chick, and the three other Marans (one is most likely a girl and the jury is out on the other two) are just plain shy. They keep their distance from people – no pecking at clothes or hopping on laps, so we’ll just have to give them more time to see if they come around.
And, then, of course, there is Miss Lady Banks. At this point, she comes running if she sees or hears a person… she always jumps up on the ramps closest to the door to greet me when I come into the coop. She spends a lot of time on my lap or arm or shoulder and loves to peck and scratch (gently) at my hair and is also now very fond of being scratched and massaged all over and of taking naps on my knee. She’s the first out the doors into the run and the first out the big door into the yard. She also spends the most time on the highest perches and she makes cute little happy cheepy-cheepy noises that I think means she’s happy to see me.
Sorry I don’t have any new pics of Mystery Chick, but I’ll get some tomorrow. I just noticed this evening that suddenly his/her “comb” has turned completely red. I put “comb” in quotes because he/she still has no comb of note. However, the general area has changed color quite suddenly and dramatically. The above pic was taken on the 10th, so one week ago today and there isn’t even a hint of red. Since we still don’t know what breed he/she is, we also can’t know if that’s a gender indicator or not. My guess is that it should mean male… but eventually all chickens, male and female, get red combs. Males’ are just larger and redder and often develop earlier, but there are no hard and fast rules. It seems hard to imagine that this delicate, small, timid little chick could really be a male, but what the heck do I know? I’m new to all this. I guess only time will tell.
Anyway, I bring up Mystery Chick not because his/her comb changed color, but to let you know the he/she has been officially named. Brian’s sister, Elizabeth, has been Mystery Chick’s number one fan from day one, so I asked her if she would like to name him/her. She accepted and decided to go with a “gender neutral” name rather than waiting to see how it turns out. So, from this day forward, Mystery Chick has been renamed “Pippin.” And just so everyone knows, I have gotten official permission from my friends Laura and Pippin to use the name… no copyright infringement and all that :)