Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Looking forward

Chick-Chuck is growing up.

Now three months old, she is undergoing an amazing transformation. When I called to her last month "little peep peep, are you there?" I would hear her high-pitched whistle come back at me. The other day I called out and was distressed not to hear a reply. I stepped into her side of the coop and she was talking away -- about an octave deeper! She's getting her grown-up voice. It's clear now that she's a she, not a rooster. Still no sign of a comb. You can see in the photo that she's approaching the size of an adult Marans.

Here you see her in the middle, with papa Egglebert on the left and possibly her bio-mom on the right. Or another possibility on the ground below her! Chick-Chuck does not yet have the roundness of a healthy hen, but her structure is expanding on a daily basis, inching her towards egg laying.

Still, however, she is not a part of the flock. She stays in her separate area, on the outskirts rather than joining in when the other hens scratch for corn or rooster under the heat lamp. A few of the Araucanas seem to be comfortable around her now, not fussing at her. And at times she'll perch near, but never clearly with, other hens.

I realize that they have to work these things out in their own chicken way. Some days it makes me sad that she's so alone. But I am inspired by her spirit -- something seems to tell her that she has an important future, and so she keeps on looking forward.

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