May 6, 2013

Little Dinosaurs, Ugly Ducklings and Teenagers

I am doing something most people seem very hesitant, even scared to do...posting photos of chicks just past the age of four weeks. There is a reason people don't post a lot photos of their chicks at this formidable age. That fluff-ball cuteness doesn't last long. Anyone thinking about getting chicks to raise might see these photos and have second thoughts...not knowing this is an extremely temporary condition. I'm talking about their 'little dinosaurs and ugly ducklings'(chicklings?) and 'teenage' stage of life.

Two of our fluff-balls
This time a year ago we were getting everything ready for our chicks to be delivered.  The end of June our chicks arrived and they were healthy, active and absolutely the cutest fluff balls ever! They are still healthy and active to this day but the sweet, cute looking, balls of fluff lasted about three or four weeks. Just as we humans go through our own ugly duckling stage so do all other living creatures!

They grow amazingly fast. There are no words that describe how fast they grow. Even people who come to see the chicks every day will think you replaced them, in the middle of the night, with older models. Seriously!

The feather growth just can't keep up with the body. So they are long, lanky, sparsely feathered and down-covered for a while. Eventually the body growth slows down and the feathers appear to be catching up. Once their bodies start filling out and the feathers start to resemble real chickens they're not so scary looking at all (much).

Warning!  Some of these first few photos might be a bit graphic for some of you, but we love them no matter.

Carmen already needed help with her 'do' !
Little dinosaurs!
Yes we loved them dearly during this stage.
One of the Hepburn sisters...
By about three months they are starting to gain weight and get their grownup feathers. Depending on their breed they also start growing their combs, wattles, ear tufts and other grownup accessories.

PARTY in the nesting box!
They looked grownup a long time before they really were grown.They played like they were grownups and were not scared of much then. They were much harder to roundup and get into the coop at the end of the day.  At this stage of their lives we just referred to them as TEENAGERS!  Hey, if you've raised your own teenagers you'll understand...

Hey, how MANY can we fit in there?
Playing pretend in the nesting box.

The nesting boxes were fun places to explore when they were little. Now, even though two can fit into one nesting box, one of our bigger, gorgeous chickens looks like she would have to be squeezed in with a shoehorn.

Full grown beautiful chickens...
 ...and their 'fluffy-butts'!

This time I want to hatch some babies!



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