While my daughter is reading books about boys,
my boy has taken to hanging out with chicks. Meet Sally May, Aidan's main squeeze. A week after getting our first batch of chicks, we picked up two Ameraucana chicks. Avery named one of the Ameraucana's Aquamarine, Aqua for short, in anticipation of the beautiful eggs we hope she'll start laying later this summer.
It's hard to believe that the original eight chickens are one month old already. They've passed the baby phase and are starting to look like gawky teenagers.
This is Smally, the chick we nursed back to health. She truly is smaller than the rest of the chicks, but what she lacks for in size she makes up for in courage. She strays farther from the flock in search of tasty worms. It's a riot to watch her when she catches one - it's as if she doesn't quite know what to do with it. She runs around, drawing attention to herself, trying to find a safe place to eat it; but of course, the other chickens chase her and often steal the worm away.
When it comes to eating worms, the Buff Orpingtons know exactly what to do. Gulp. One quick swallow, and the worm is gone.
This is Bess. I shouldn't admit this, but she's my favorite, and for very superficial reasons. She is the prettiest chick. Big, plump, and soft. Just like a chicken should be.
We've named all but two or three of the chicks. It has taken me a while to tell them apart and keep track of each individual chicken, but distinguishing traits and unique personalities are starting to emerge. We call one of the Delaware chicks "Mama Bird" because she seems to be the mother hen of the group. She squawks loudly when away from the rest of the girls. I keep this in mind when putting them back in their coop - I don't put her in first or last, simply because her squawking breaks my heart. I like to think she's maternal, but perhaps she's just insecure. Or maybe she's neither of these things, and I'm just guilty of anthropomorphism.
I asked Honey Bunny what she thinks about the chicks.
She tolerates the girls, but I bet she's thinking, "Lady, you're a crackpot. It's like freaking Easter in this backyard. Don't you dare try and put a bow tie and patchwork vest on me. And you can forget about me carrying around a basket filled with eggs, even if they are chocolate."
No worries Honey Bunny. I'm not really the Easter kind of girl. I'm just grateful that all my backyard friends have me spending a lot more time outside. I could watch the chickens all day long.