Friday, May 20, 2011

Husbanding Floyd: "Girl, You'll Be A Pullet Soon"

Technically, I suppose they already are.  Pullets, that is.  In a few days they'll be 9 weeks old and they are doing great.
Hi Mom!  Hi Dad!
We were told that the chicks imprint on and call Mother the first thing they see after hatching.  If that isn't a brooder hen it's whatever's available.  We figured for our chicks it was probably a pair of hands in white latex gloves.  Judging from the way they act when we approach their coop, they really did imprint on us!  As soon as they hear our voices, they run out of the coop or away from whatever they're doing and gather in the corner closest to our approach.

We planted marigolds just on the other side of the chicken wire.  Marigold petals are supposed to help make the egg yolks yellower.  Our plan is as the marigolds get larger and bloom more the chickens will be able to reach the flowers without destroying the whole plant.  And it makes the coop and run look cute.

The girls have indeed gotten larger over the past couple of weeks.  They actually feel like something when you pick them up now.

Yesterday during my evening visit the pullets seemed to be clingier than usual.  I let them gather around my feet and peck at my shoes and jeans.  Then I go to the diagonal corner and wait for them to come running.
Last night they wouldn't be distracted and before I could get to the opposite corner and turn around they were on the run!
They are speedy little buggers!
So they're growing nicely, developing individual personalities, and seem to be working out a pecking order.  For the most part I find them to be indistinguishable from one another.  But there's one with cream-colored feathers on her back, another with an odd upright tail feather, and one that loves to have the top of her beak gently stroked.  Puts her in a trance.  I never expected the chickens to be this amusing!  Good thing they're layers.  Now I know to be sure to not be amused by the broilers.

"You can't see us!"

"buh-bye, Mom!"


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