RJ, They do change dramatically through their first year....and at times, even after that. They get around better than any other breed I've had (not that I've had many breeds but I have hatched chicks from quite a few). I am amazed how different the chicks that Gula is raising for my friend (Ameraucana or Orp rooster x Orp and Java hens) are from my Icelandic chicks. When Gula is let out of the chicken tractor outside to take the chicks back to the coop at night, the chicks have a hard time getting over the board that is around the bottom of the small coop she stays in. I have a brick, about 3 inches high, laying by the doorway for the chicks to get up on and then it is only about 4 inches to the top of the board. These chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old and have to struggle to get up on the brick and I use my foot to give a couple of them a "boost" to get up and over the board. When Jóka was in that coop, her Icelandic chicks were hopping straight to the top of the board at that age.
A couple of weeks ago when I took a short trip to visit my DD's family, my DH took care of the chickens. This doesn't happen often!! I told him to open the door to the "rabbit hutch turned broody duplex" for Heppni and the chicks to go out in the morning. I told him to leave it open and they would be in at lock-up and he should give them some scrambled eggs (which I had in small containers in the refrigerator for him) and mealworms before latching the door for the night.
"How will the chicks get up there?" he says. The "rabbit hutch turned broody duplex" is about 40 inches off the ground. "They'll fly up there" I say. "But they're too little" he says. "They're Icelandics. They'll fly up there." I say. When I called the first night, I asked, "How'd the chicks do getting in their coop?" He says "I watched them fly straight up. How do they do that?" I just looked at him and he says "They're Icelandics...right?" "Right!" I say I think he's catching on.
I didn't get a chance for pictures after work today, since I had to finish the mowing I started yesterday. I did pick-up each of the new six chicks and take a look at them.
The chipmunk chick that Játa hatched is unlike any that have hatched here. Its facial markings are very unique.
The youngest chick is getting stronger and Járn is proving to be a very attentive momma.