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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Assimilation in the Fowl Yard

The chicks are now eight weeks old are becoming hardier. In the last week they have started to put themselves to bed at twilight and bed down for the night as a group with established sleeping positions. Prior to this they would be awake and sleep in short bursts throughout the day and night. It was not unusual to hear them chirruping away at 2am, playing and eating. There used to be lots of jostling and a continually changing sleeping circle.

The shed on the left is where the large girls roost and lay. It is made of tin and fully wood lined inside. During the winter, bales of straw are piled along the exposed sides for added insulation.

The fencing type of set up on the right of the picture is the chick's expanded home. It is fully enclosed with wire to protect against predators and also has a tin shelter with a light that is still permanently on day and night. This week we will start withdrawing the light but gradually raising it further and further away from the chicks. They now have their primary feathers and an established sleep pattern.

Both fowl and chicks have been able to see each other for the last couple of weeks through the fence. In the afternoons now, the chicks enclosure is opened and the fowl have been mixing freely. We have been very surprised that there hasn't been any pecking. At this stage there is no serious competition for food or sleeping perches, even so, we thought there would be some dominance displays. It won't be long though before the cocks start to realise they are different....hopefully not for another 4-5 weeks yet.

I was photographing them at very late afternoon, hoping that the camera could pick up the irredescent purple and brilliant blue green sheen that gleams in the sun on their glossy black feathers. Unfortunately I was unable to capture the colours.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely healthy looking girls! The light is changing isn't it? You can realise notice at the beginning and end of the day.


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