Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The chicks have flown the... tank

*sniff sniff* Mah baybees is growin' up!

OK, so it's not all that sad, really. It means I get my freezer back, which good Lord, I missed being able to get into that thing! I couldn't get to my pesto! That's a tragedy when there are good pizza ideas calling my name.

The chicks are two weeks old now and still growing fast. They look a little funny right now because they're starting to get their back feathers in, which means all the downy bits that were so soft on their back are standing straight up because the new feathers are pushing it out of the way.

It makes them look like they're wearing little popped collars. I guess that explains all the attitude. I have teenage chicks. Geesh.
Honestly, though, we were about to have some serious issues if I had kept them in the tank. Battle lines were being drawn. They had divided themselves into two little colonies and were sleeping down opposite ends of the tank at night, which told me that not only were roosting quarters getting tight, I was very likely going to have territory battles on my hands for scratching room. And I was having to fill the food and water containers up once (or twice, and sometimes three times) a day. AND even with my best efforts, they were kicking bedding into the food and water all the time trying to scratch, which meant I was constantly cleaning something out.
We were all getting tired of it.
It was time to move.

So Oz and I got out the Big Girl Feeder and the Big Girl Waterer and put them in the coop with some bedding. I don't want my babies to freeze. Technically I'm supposed to keep them at a certain temperature until they're about a month old, but it was either this or find a bigger container with a cat-proof lid. This was way cheaper and easier. It's warm enough outside during the day, and the inside of the coop stays warm at night, too, after the windows are shut, so while I was worried, it was more for form than anything else. SOMEbody has to worry about everything.

We hauled the girls out after everything was set up, accompanied by a dog who either loves the chicks because his Corgi herding instinct is starting to emerge from the fat rolls or loves the chicks because he thinks his fat rolls need refilling with fresh chicken. I'm not sure. I really don't want to test either theory, if I'm honest.

The girls settled right into their new home. When I checked on them this morning, they were happily running around and talking and gossiping and nibbling food here and there. A few of them were even testing their wings and fluttering around a bit, something they couldn't do in the cramped confines of the tank.

Mah baybees is growin' up! And it's exciting for everyone.

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