The baby chicks, now 10 weeks old (halfway to becoming laying pullets), had a busy day. For the first time they made it entirely around the house (several times in fact). They seemed especially pleased with their discovery of the flower garden, and they spent a good part of the day there.
I found one still there, long after the adults had headed home for the night. Looking for the others, I discovered they had somehow jumped the fence and were pecking in the driveway. It took some doing (and two of us) but we managed to get them back into the coop with all the other chickens.
The chicks have been in the main part of the coop since Monday. When we began letting them out, the baby chicks returned each night to their side—although long after the adults had shoved, shuffled and eventually settled themselves. Monday, when Cherisse went to close them up, she found only one baby inside. She eventually found another on a branch in a lilac bush. Cherisse got that one down and herded into the coop, then a third chick materialized, and finally she found the fourth when she looked up and saw it on a rafter.
We had wondered when to integrate them into the adult flock, but because the chicks seemed to want to perch, Cherisse thought the time had come. She removed the board that separated the coop area from where the chicks had been raised. One baby promptly entered and jumped onto the perch. Two more went into a nesting box—on the adult side but not actually near them. The chick on the rafter stayed there, comfortably settled in. This continued throughout the week, until Cherisse finally blocked off their side entirely, and they were forced to go in and out of the coop’s trap door entrance. They get chased by the older chickens but as a matter of form; there seems to be no deadly intent.
The babies are growing rapidly, and their feathers change all the time—some are speckled and one chicken, which could be a male, has a lot of lovely purple tail feathers. We can’t wait to see what they will look like as adults. For now they are endlessly entertaining.