The Monday holiday threw me off and I forgot to post the peeps' eight-week update.
Luckily for me, they haven't yet figured out how to get onto the computer to check my blog updates.
I have momentous news to report this week...
Between C-baby, myself and a kindly neighbor with a riding lawnmower, we finished taming the last of the unmown parts of the jungle!!! (and yes, I kow that wasn't a real word. that's OK).
All of the chickie babies now have names! In the top photo above, from left to right (and excluding those still in the coop), we have:
Dale, of the Chip & Dale Duo (Ameraucana) So named because they looked like a pair of striped chipmunks when they were itty bitty babies. Since they've grown up a bit, however, Chip turned white and silver and is looking more and more rooster-ish, whereas Dale is remaining her quiet and sweet rust-colored, pullet-looking self. Chip doesn't come out of the coop very much, so I don't have many pictures of him/her, but you can see him/her strutting his/her stuff in the photo below.
Back to the top photo now.
Ruby, the Rhode Island Red. She's the leader of the house, that one. Little Miss Sassy Pants. She is also the friendliest of the reds, and will let me hold her from time to time. As long as I don't tell the other chickens. She has a reputation to uphold, you know.
Goose, of the Maverick & Goose duo (Silver-Laced Wyandottes) (the chicken closest to the coop). Yes, these are hens. But they just seemed to need these cool movie-star names, to match their beautiful black and white fancy feathers. Maverick can be seen in the second photo above, the one closer to the camera.
Reba, another RIR. Much shyer than Ruby. Still strikingly beautiful.
Bea, of the Bea & Rue Duo (Gold Stars). She is very sweet, likes to be held and is often right around me when I'm doing chores. The Gold Star names, the last ones we came up with, came from two of the actresses that played on the Golden Girls. Gold Star chickens... Golden Girls... get it?? Just wait, it gets better...
Little Miss Sunshine, a Buff Orpington (on C-baby's leg). Sunny is THE friendliest of ALL of the chickens. When she sees me coming she literally comes running to greet me. If you've never seen a chicken running straight at you, please do me a favor and get to a home that has chickens. It is comical! The other buff, pictured below, we named Shia LeBeouf. As in "shy," "buff." She is both, too. But still famous. Get it?
Little chicken humor there. Or is it Chicken Little humor?
Thelma & Louise (we think they're Barred Rocks, although they looked much different than our other barred rock when they were all younger). Thelma is my other friendliest chicken, along with Sunny. These two are always the last to go back into the coop when it's time to close them in for the night. If they were toddlers, they'd be the ones saying, "Just one more book mama, pleeaassseee???"
Rue (the other Gold Star) - sweet like the other Gold Star. I can pick either of them up even outside of the coop, and they are the first ones to settle down and relax on a lap.
Rosie, the third Rhode Island Red
Dixie, a Barred Rock. Dixie...Chick. She's on the second photo, sitting on C-baby's boot. She's our tiniest bird, even smaller than our bantam Silkie, but she is a sweetie. She often sits on our boots, or a knee if I'm inside the coop with them. She's finally growing in the feathers on her lower back, which got pecked out a lot when she was younger. She has a very loud chirp and I can always tell when she's nearby.
And of course, saving the best for last, our little Silkie, Frikin. I love this little guy. I'm not sure but we've been calling it a "he" ever since he came home. We don't actually know yet if this is a pullet or cockerel. But in our minds, it's a "he." Despite his diminutive size, he is not the bottom of the pecking order. Mostly because he is fast! I have a hard time catching him, and when I do, he fights me with all of the two ounces of his being. I have this idea that if I just hold him once/day and he sees I mean him no harm, he'll get a little less wary. 8 weeks and no luck yet. But still I try.
So, there's my little flock, all fifteen of them. We have a nice ritual around sunset. I go out to the coop and let them out one last time, just as the sun is starting to set. They run around like crazy, then just after sundown, race back into the coop and start clamoring for the best spots on the roost, piling on top of each other in the process and peeping like crazy.
After I see that they're all safely tucked in and have done a head count (or beak count?) at least twice, I shut the coop door and clip the carabiner into the small hole to lock it. I test the electric wire with the back of my finger to make sure it's still hot, then bid them all good-night and one or two "stay-warm-tonights."
Next I make my way over to the barn where I say good-night to the boys and shut the gate to the yard where the boys have been grazing all day, making sure they are all safe and sound inside the pasture (which is enclosed with split rail and fortified with electric wire).
After checking both the coop and pasture, it's then time for me to head back inside for the night, hoping the weather isn't going to be too bad and that all the animals in my care will have a safe and sound night.
What's your favorite nighttime ritual? Leave me a note - I'd love to hear!
(And stay warm!)