The ‘Twerps Go Outside

I know, I know. I missed week 6. We had to go to Alberta for J’s sister’s wedding. Once I’ve finished going through the road trip pictures I’ll post about the drive.

But on to the chooks! When J and I got home the first thing we noticed when we went upstairs was the smell. Our wonderful bird sitter had done a full clean-out of the brooder during the week, but the smell was still lingering. Now that they’re getting older the chicks are starting to take on a certain odour that, no matter how often you clean, won’t go away. In the fresh air they smell just fine, but kept within the confines of the loft it was definitely unpleasant and after being away from it for a week I did not feel like living with that again. So I packed them up, moved the ex-pen into the chicken yard, covered it, and released them into the great outdoors. The first thing Little Blue did was flop down in the dirt for a dust bath. I took that as a sign that they were ready to move outside too.

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When I got home I was so excited to see my little birds, but sadly they had forgotten me within the week. When I put my hand in to try and hold them Lavender gave me a pretty good bite then ushered his ladies behind him, giving me a look that said, “don’t you dare touch my girls!” He has since warmed up to me again, but it was a good reminder on the differences between dogs and chickens. Lesson learned. He’s starting to grow in his hackle feathers around his neck, which I’m really excited about. Weight: 301 grams.

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Dark Blue is the friendliest, and was the first to let me start holding her again. She still loves to perch, and as soon as I removed the cover on the ex-pen she was ready to jump up there to hang out. I absolutely love her adorable fluffy face. Weight: 256 grams.

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Little Blue is definitely the feistiest of the three. When Lucy came over to try and boss the chicks around through the ex-pen’s bars Little Blue started jumping up and down and trying to peck Lucy in the face. Weight: 231 grams.

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Our Barnevelder has turned out to be quite the jerk chicken (get it? Ha!). She’s desperate not to be bottom rung on the pecking order, and will prowl around the ex-pen waiting to try and peck The ‘Twerps. She still won’t even let me get close to her, which is why there have been so few photos of her. I’ve been gently petting the two older birds at night once they’ve gone to roost and I make sure they see that I supply the food, so hopefully they will start to warm up to me.

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While I doubt we’ll be adding newbies any time soon, I’m already making future plans to have a flock of Chantecler chickens for eggs and meat. The Chantecler is Canada’s only heritage breed of chicken, and I would love to eventually get involved in the preservation of it. So to anyone thinking of getting “just a few” backyard chickens, you’ve been warned: Chicken math is definitely a very real thing.

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