8 Weeks of Chicken

8 weeks is more of less that milestone between baby chick and adolescent chicken. During cooler temperatures this is the age that they can generally start going outside (which makes me so happy I got summer chickens instead of fall or early spring ones). The ‘Twerps are still no bigger than a rat, and I’m in no rush to try integrating them into the larger ladies’ flock until they’re closer to full size. With the way the barred rock is I may never move them out of their ex-pen. The BR gets into mean fits, and will stomp up to the ex-pen and peck the chicks off their perch. I’m hoping that once my roo’ has fully matured that his presence will be enough to keep the peace, but I’m not counting on it. Currently they go outside in the ex-pen during the way, and I bring them in the house at night.

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Suki takes her self-appointed farm duties very seriously. While I clean out the coop she patrols the pen for pests. In addition to removing all food and water at night, I’m hoping the smell of dog in the pen will deter any roving rodents from setting up camp.

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She demands belly rubs as payment for her rodent inspections.

Lavender/Splash is finally growing in a noticeable beard, and his skinny neck is filling out. He’s also warmed up to the idea of being held again, and last night I discovered he loves having his throat petted. He sat on my hand for over ten minutes and even almost fell asleep. So far he doesn’t seem like he’ll be a super gentle, generous rooster with his ladies. Some people have said that when they give their rooster treats that he’ll drop them and call his girls over for first dibs. My guy isn’t like that. When I give them treats it’s every chicken for itself. Then again, if he didn’t leap right in to gobble up food I’m not sure the girls would leave him any. Weight: 346 grams.

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I had a bit of panic moment when I weighed Blue this morning. I popped her onto the scale, only for it to read that she weighed less than she did last week. Being the calm, rational person I am (not!) I jumped straight to conclusion that I would soon be one chicken less because that much weight loss on a growing animal is a very bad sign. Then I realized I had accidentally put Little Blue on the scale instead. Crisis averted. Blue is still very much the most people-oriented of the three, and her new favourite activity is to fly up and stand on my head. I’m pretty sure she would happily sleep on the bed with us if I let her. Weight: 285 grams.

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It seems like Little Blue, still the tiniest, is going to be the bottom of the (thankfully gentle) pecking order in my miniature flock. While the other two will stay and gobble up food when I drop treats into the pen, Little Blue grabs the biggest beakful she can and takes off running with it. Despite their feisty nature there hasn’t been any bullying with my Antwerps, and I’m pretty sure my roo’ adores his tiniest girl. Weight: 251 grams.

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Maybe I’ll change my mind once they start laying eggs, but right now I much prefer bantams to standard chickens. In my (admittedly very, very limited) experience, the differences go way beyond size. My three bantams have so much more personality than the two standards. Or maybe it’s just because they’re Belgian.

Not that I’m bias or anything.

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