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Monday, January 25, 2010

Emerging Boys and Girls

The chicks are three weeks old now and are growing daily and eating lots more. They really love the chick crumble made into a mash with water. I have at times added some leaves of kale with green grubs cleverly camoflaged and its great stimulation for the chicks as they peck and explore and then, oh! is that movement they see, oh! a prize and then round and round they run trying to steal the grubs from each other.

Their feet are large now much the same as puppies get at this stage. They look a bit gangly and look like they will trip over their own feet. There is some mock battles going on too, a bit of flying up in rudimentary challenges. There are some other subtle signs too differentiating the sexes. The males are slightly bigger now and have the beginnings of head combs looking a little bit like juvenile terradactils. Another feature distinctive to the males is their boldness and curiosity. Any unusual or loud noise has the males craning their necks and standing very erect, while the females tend to bob down a bit and keep their bodies more tucked up.

Craig has opened the circle of the pen several times now to accommodate the growing chicks and they are enjoying a base of first cut lucern straw and we will upscale their drinking containers within the next couple of days also as they are really having to bend low to drink now. Primary feathers are plentiful at the ends of the wings and in the tail and starting to sprout elsewhere and will start their
ugly duckling
stage next.

It's really hard not to get wrapped up in emotional love for baby anythings especially when you are their care givers but it's important to remember; this is about meat and eggs for the table at the end of the day. Having said that, I have a much deeper respect for the animals that we slaughter and a sense of gratefulness and honour for their part they play in the cycle of life. Their energy becomes my energy. Snicker if you want to but its a lot more real than buying a piece of disembodied meat fillet on a foam tray wrapped in plastic. You'ld have to ask yourself,
How much energy would there be in that?


  1. They are so cute when they are little but they do look funny when their feathers are coming thru :0)

  2. It must be hard to make that separation from when they are 'cute' and then 'food'.

    Thanks so much for your kind words on my tutorial!


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