The very first chicks we hatched on our farm are now six weeks old! Their mama, Puffy is just as nurturing as ever, and they don’t stray from her side. At night, they still try to squeeze under their mama’s protective wings. But they won’t fit for long; they are quickly catching up in size!
For their first two weeks, we kept the chicks and their mama in a box in our garage. They were so tiny, and seemed so vulnerable. She showed them how to drink and eat, but they were rarely out of the comfort of her wings for more than several minutes at a time.
We couldn’t believe how big they had grown in just two weeks. We moved their box into the nursery coop at the same time that the other chickens got moved into the larger coop. Only Puffy’s sister, Fluffy, remained in the nursery coop with them. The chicks all stayed in the box, but they became much more active, running around the box and eating much more.
By the time they were a month, they were able to fly-hop themselves out of their box and onto the roosting perch. The littlest, sleepy, had to use the water dish as a stepping stool to make her way up, but she was determined to keep up with her two bigger sisters (hopeful thinking that they are all female). But they still didn’t leave the security of their mezzanine home.
Then, just last weekend, we saw the Puffy, Fluffy, and all three chicks on the grass in the coop. Puffy was showing the chicks how to scratch, and peck at the dirt. Even on the coldest weekend we have had so far, their mama thought they were ready to broaden their horizons. Now, every morning, there the chicks are, pecking at the frosty grass, and exploring the world around them.
This post first appeared on Green Mountain Farm.