It's been a while since i've updated on our little peeps. All of our new chicks are getting bigger and getting all their feathers in. They lose that cute little fluffiness so quickly, and take on that awkward teen-age bird look for while. Many of them have already made it through the awkward stage and are beginning to look like miniature chickens. We are also beginning to get a few signs of whether we have hens or roosters.
My two wild hens, who were never given proper names are always hiding with their babies They make it so difficult for me to get a good picture of them. i've found that my best attempt to get a photo is to throw down some corn and then step back and sit quietly. My pretty black hen has three of these peeps. The one in the left corner belongs to my brown hen and i believe it's a girl. Of the black hens three, so far it appears she has two girls and a boy. The little black peep is her mini-me. It appears to be a girl and looks identical to her mama with the black feet, comb and beak.
This pretty fellow is an americana-cross i believe. He has a longer neck and a bit of a beard (common with the Americanas) and he is already getting a comb. No sign of blue tail feathers yet, which is usually a definite sign it's a boy. It will be a while before i know for sure, but i'm pretty sure this a rooster.
The third little peep, i believe is the Buff Orpington cross. She has a heavier shape, short neck and super soft feathers. She is looking like a hen so far...although some of them develop later, so it's still just a guess.
Of the four new easter-egg chickens, there appears to be 3 hens and one rooster. Happy feet has the prettiest pattern. Her feathers are all different shades of gray. She is an extremely sweet bird and everyone's favorite. She loves to roost on shoulders.
This is one of the two 'twins'. The kids named them Jumpin' Jack Flash and Rascal. They both look completely identical, so i'm not sue which one is in the photo. :) So far, they both appear to be females.
The kids have named this one Rooster-boy, for obvious reasons. :) So far it's the only one to be getting a comb. He is also the only one that doesn't have a tail, which seems kind of odd. i'm not sure if he's slow in getting his tail feathers or if he'll be rumpless which is common with true aruacanas. His featehr feather pattern is similar to Happy Feet, except that he has a pretty russet red color.
Sunny's peeps are all getting their feathers too, but they are so tiny. Sunny is a smaller hen, and i'm guessing the Bantam roosters is the Daddy. So the babies just seem extra small compared to all our others. They have more feathers now than they did in this photo, but i still can't tell if we have hens or roosters yet.
We've been really lucky so far this fall, in that we haven't lost any babies/chickens yet. This time of year is terrible for predators, and it isn't uncommon for my wild birds to get picked off one by one. Last fall we lost all of our roosters but one because they insisted on sleeping in the trees.
All three of my mama hens refuse to stay in the fencing, and like to scratch around at the edge of the woods and across the street so they are especially vulnerable. i was hoping that hatching out eggs from the domestic hens, they would be a bit less wild. However, my mama birds teach their babies well. They teach them to scratch, forage and fly out of the chicken pen.