Confounded by Sicilian buttercup chicks shunning their heat cave

ColtHandorf

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Feb 19, 2019
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View attachment 2880488 View attachment 2880489 Bet you have a hard time finding the two chicks among the adults. They step right outside now, and seem totally unafraid of the endless sky that might contain endless chicken eating aerial predators or the forest just a few feet away that might contain chicken eating monsters.

Oh, wait. That's me that afraid of those things.
That's par for the course with Buttercups. My original flock would head straight for the woods and start working through the leaves looking for goodness knows what. I had a few 6-8 week old babies and they were constantly getting out last spring. They'd wander all the way around from their pen to the front yard to chase bugs in the short grass. I could not figure out how they were getting out.
@azygous, are my chicks safe with my roo? He danced at one of my pullets today but when she scooted away from him, he left her alone. The littles are about 9 weeks old. I won't need to separate them from him, will I? As they get a little older? I remember how the cockerels terrorized their "siblings" before the girls were ready....
I'd agree that a mature rooster generally knows when a pullet is too young. My English Orpingtons always have a little flirt when I introduce new girls, and it might go on for a day or two, but then they settle down. The mature hens are by far worse about bullying them.
 
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azygous

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The chicks are becoming full flock members. But they tend to hang with two of the oldest. I've noticed over the years that the older chickens, those that aren't as active any longer, have more patience with chicks and chicks seem to understand this.

Nanny Millie in the top photo is still assuming responsibility for the chicks and, despite her gouty foot, accompanies them when they step out of the run. After a busy day exploring the outdoors, Millie and the chicks relax together.

In the lower photo, Granny Di often hangs out with the chicks in the run. She is half blind and the blind eye is the one she needs to compete for food. So she sometimes shares the chicks' food with them since she needs time and peace to get enough to eat. The chicks often clean her beak for her when she's finished.
 
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Allsfairinloveandbugs

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Until i saw pictures posted earlier on this thread, i had no idea how beautiful Buttercup hens are. Knew about the breed's unique comb, but didnt know their color pattern is also unique. And azygous your two are now transitioning into their beautiful adult feathers! (And i love their green legs.) They are still cute chicks, but yes amazing how fast they are growing and changing.
 

azygous

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A day in the life of the Buttercups began with their own private tomato.
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Until trouble showed up and snatched it.
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No one stopped the loyal little group from relaxing together.
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At roosting time, Nanny Millie retires early, joined by the Buttercups checking out where their nanny sleeps at night when she isn't with them. They quickly left for their own coop once the flock started to come inside to roost.

The Buttercups are seven weeks old.
 

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