Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Raising Baby Chicks, Week 3: Ladies' Day Out

On March 10, we had an absolutely gorgeous day here -- around 70 degrees.  We decided to try taking some of the "young ladies" outside for the first time, to see how they liked the great big world.  We got out the baby play yard, and only took 5 at first, so we could see how they handled it.

 They seemed to like it okay.

As usual, they were cautious but curious.

This one even seems relaxed here.

Ah, but do they know that the also curious and potentially dangerous cat is nearby?  He came to investigate, but though we definitely kept a watch on him, he really doesn't seem a threat to them.  He actually acts like he's afraid of them.  And yet, cats aren't to be trusted.  Even ones without front claws (he came to us that way).

And then there are the dogs... especially the crazed-looking one on the left (Sunshine).  She really is about as bananas as she looks.   Or more.  She's my biggest concern for the chickens' safety at this point.  She is a bit territorial and barks insanely at many other animals.  The other one (Amadeus) pretty much only barks at adults (including my husband and me -- annoying!), because he's disturbed in a different kind of way (he's a rescue dog, was kept in a cage his whole first three years and not well-adjusted to people).  He's friendlier to animals and children, though he also defends his territory against other dogs he considers a threat.  He's less of a concern for the chickens, but still an unknown.  So we penned both the dogs while the ladies played.  We'd like to think both dogs could be nice guard and even maybe herd dogs for the chickens, but they really lack in the discipline and training department, and it seems rather doubtful.

 The little ladies seemed comfortable enough, so we brought more out.  Or rather, the children did, while I sat watched them and took pictures.

Bethany had them ride in a basket.

Someone wanted to show them the ball (it was lowered gently, not thrown in).  They weren't too impressed.

They did like the stick Zion put in for them to perch on, however.

I happened to catch one peeping.  I don't think it was alarmed, though it sort of looks it here.  They were acting alert/cautious, but not bothered.

Here's a puzzle for you.  Have a look at "the amazing" Mumford -- the one peeking up over the crowd there.  I still hope this name doesn't stick.  But I do have to admit it's a little more creative than some.

 And here -- looking just a little bit rooster-like in her/his demeanor?  The one standing very upright.

 Has always been lighter than the other Cinnamon Queens... and still is.
 Very light on the back.  So do tell me -- have we got a sex-linked cockerel on our hands here?  It is yet a mystery.

One last picture.  Bethany with a Barred Rock. 

For more about our chicken experience, follow this link, or click on the "CHICKENS" tab at the top of the page.

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