The Wee Orphans

The chicks that Big Black Hen left behind are thriving.. they are oblivious to their biological mothers demise or at least it seems so. I say biological mother, but she could be one of approximately 7 others that could claim that title. I will say, for the sake of argument (from whom you might say ?? .. lol) .. the other mothers, hehe.. that she was the hen that sat diligently on those eggs until hatching time.. so she earnt the right to be called their Mama.

The Araucana babies.. love the hand. The hand feeds them, waters them.. and also removes the poopy litter (not they have a real care about that) .. they’re main concern is where the next feed is coming from.

In the morning, every couple of days I pull out from the ground a fresh clump of grass that I ‘plant’ in the corner of there little house.. they’re cheeps of ‘freaked outed-ness’ was hilariously funny, the first time I did this.. as I hide the roots in the corner of their abode. It was however only temporary as their inquisitive nature over came their initial shock horror.

The little creatures are growing up.. their wing feathers are forming. It will only be another week of living inside with us & then they will require new living arrangements.. out under the verandah, where they will grow into teenagers of the fowl world. Once fully feathered, they will be introduced back into the big chooken pen from whence they were born.. but that is another story.

The Orphanage

This is the chicks home.. they will be here for another week. They will then move outside under the veranda into a 4 x 4 wooden apple bin. They will still have the ceramic heat lamp, 150 watts, until they’re fully feathered. Of course if we get more of those 40 degree days, the lamp won’t be necessary.. but right now, as I fight myself to not be lighting the fire & I might add that we are in the middle of Summer here in Aus, it’s January for goodness sakes.. those hot days seem far, far away!

They love the hand.. the hand does everything for them. It brings food ...

The hand is their lifeline, stand in mother.. it brings food & water.. it appears suddenly from nowhere, but only after a whistle has been heard. I whistle to them, I cannot replicate a hen of course, but they know when they hear my whistle that food is soon to appear. It must appear to them as though it falls from above.. The Chicken Little story comes to mind right about this time…

From past experience with raising chicks.. they do remember this whistle long after they have joined the backyard flock. I have had some jump onto my shoulders years later … they do remember who I am.

They fight for position on 'the hand'.

Checkout the developing wing feathers.. the cute little beasties won’t be babies for long.  … and I reckon that Lavender chick, standing up high on the hand will be a male.