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  • Chicks are now 7 wks old. Lots of pecking order activity going on. They're up on the poo boards and roosts at night, although they seem to want to puppy pile on the poo boards, lil' wierdos. At least some are roosting properly. Their voices are getting honky, and their face foliage is slowly giving way to red skin. Hard to believe they're almost two months old! Four more months and they'll be laying!

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    So: they're 5 wks old. Got the hang of going in at dusk, still sleeping in the huddle pile. Love clover, kale, and turnip greens, turn their noses up at mint. Several are so tame they sleep on my, others will hang out on my lap but no touching. Still only two definite roos, but I'll wait til later to see if there are more. Electric to the coop now, and netting will be finished this weekend.
    So it looks like I have at least 3 cockerels in the bunch of 19. Drum Stick (Delaware) showed comb and wattles early, one Buff Orpington has thick legs and challenges Drum Stick all the time, and this morning, another Delaware shows a red comb and wattles. I'll call this one Lola, since up til today I thought he was a girl. L-O-L-A, Lola!

    This is Drum Stick, at three weeks.

    Drum Stick 2 wks .JPG
    Three weeks old today. One is clearly a male. I call him Drum Stick because of this thick legs, but this morning: his comb is getting red already! I figure out of twenty chicks sent, likely three of them are male. I hope one of the Buff Orpingtons is a male (a well mannered one). Not fully feathered yet, but except for their heads, they're getting close! I had eight of them napping on my lap this morning.
    The wee peeps have a new group activity (aside from eating, sleeping, and pooping). They preen. Constantly. Tiny new pin feathers growing in everywhere, and clearly it's itchy. So as hard as it is to refrain from petting them, I will, at least til they're feathered in. Although they still like to sit in my palm and take a nap. Names of the three friendlies: Chris, Indiana, and Betty Rubble.
    It has become apparent that the peeps can now manage the top of the stool I keep in the coop--a place to sit while I visit them. Took them more dirt to refresh their dust bath, which was greatly reduced due to their throes of ecstasy. Sat down, visited all the ones willing to ride the hand-evator up to say hi. Upon getting up to leave, I felt a cold spot on my butt. Yep. Poo.
    One week old today! For their "birthday" gift, they got a dust bath. I'd noticed them trying to dust bathe on top of their MHP (in a layer of straw) so I figured they were ready. Maybe half of them got the idea and were flinging stuff every where! Now the Orps and Delawares have charcoal dust all in their down. Silly peeps.
    They seem to have made it through the night. I didn't look under the MHP--it's 33 degrees out there, and that would just be mean. They're currently eating their morning wet mash--it's amazing how fast they're growing! They'll be one week old tomorrow. Never seen anything as cute as teeny tiny beginning tail feathers.
    So the chicks are out in their brooder pen in the coop now. They've put themselves to bed every night since I got them, and they know and trust their MHP, so I'll do my best not to worry tonight. My dog is wearing herself out looking for them. And when I had to clean poopy butts today, she cried right along with each chick.
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