Don’t blink. Don’t even blink.

(Today’s post heading is for all you Doctor Who fans out there. You know who you are…)

Time to check in with 2.0! There have big, big changes for the girls this past week; to sum up, they now have complete freedom, with all the joys and perils conferred therewith.

They assemble with 1.0 in the run first thing to be let out for a day’s pasture; they find their own grub (as it were), which includes, but is certainly not limited to, the feed I put out for them; they are responsible for their own health and safety during the day; they congregate with 1.0 outside the run for evening grazing; they make their way into the coop at the appointed hour; they arrange themselves on the sawhorses for the night, with the exception of the one who always has to try the 1.0 roost just one more time to see if she can get away with it. (She can’t.)

In short, they are big girls. Short of egg laying, they are in the routine they will keep for the rest of their lives here. It’s a wonderful feeling to see them living free and independent, but I also get nervous when they graze in an open area. They’re not full sized just yet. “Where’s ma kids at?” has significantly more urgency than “Where’s ma chickens at?”, as does the “One, two three; one, two three” once I’ve found them.

I’m sure, at some point, I will become blasé about the rapid growth of chicks, but that day has not yet come. 2.0 is ten weeks old now; such a complete transformation in such a brief period of time. Mother Nature is amazing.

So, here is a photo timeline of 2.0, to commemorate and celebrate their transition into womanhood, their henmitzvah, if you will.

First, the good girls, the Silver Laced Wyandottes, in week one…

…week two…

…week five…

…week seven…

…and today, in week eleven:

Above is Gidget, the friendliest, whitest, and smallest of our three Silver Laced Wyandottes.

Just one question: are my Silver Laced Wyandottes every going to, you know…LACE??!! Their feathers are supposed to look like this:

See the lacing?! SEE IT??!! White feathers with black edging?! What the hell, people?! Where’s ma damn lacing at??!!

Ahem. Which is to say, I would appreciate any encouragement owners of Silver Laced Wyandootes might be able and willing to offer.

On to the bad girls, the Australorps, in week one…

…week two…

…week five…

…week seven…

…and, today, in week eleven:

These girls are cool. They are completely black: feathers, legs, eyes, beaks, even Scarlet’s comb is black (see above). The iridescence is beginning to show in their feathers and I am loving it. They, more than the good girls, are beginning to overcome their fear of me. Scarlet leads the charge; she was the first to take a treat out of my hand yesterday, ripping off bits of hosta leaf I was holding for her. Victory is sweet.

So, am I wrong? Is it not amazing what Mother Nature can accomplish in fewer than three months?  She had some help, I’ll grant you (thengyaverramush), but…still. You gotta give her props. And now the countdown to their first eggs begins…

(And, Aoxa, if you see any roos here, I don’t want to know. I’m tapped out.)

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6 thoughts on “Don’t blink. Don’t even blink.

  1. I really hate to be the bearer of bad news (again!) but lacing should be seen (somewhat) by week 8. Your girls are from a hatchery, and hatcheries don’t usually have the lacing you are hoping for :/

    They are beautiful either way, and will lay you wonderful brown eggs!

    Meaning, none above are boys :P

    My barred babies are the same age! Love it! :D They will acutally be 12 weeks tomorrow, so they are a few days older.

    Unlike you – I ended up with 3/5 being boys. 2 girls.. 5 hour drive.. Gah! I am not even keeping ANY of the boys..

    • Oh, Aoxa…how you break my heart. I suspected, you know, especially as NotHeedleyWendy’s Gold Laced Wyandotte from the same batch has been laced like a dream for some time, and her silvers look like mine. That’s it. I’m done with hatcheries. Done, I say.

      • At least they are girls right?

        Mine was well laced when I got her around 6-8 weeks old.. I paid good money for her too :P

        Do you know of any local breeders?

      • It’s not that I’m so in love with Wyandottes. I wanted six chicks; I wanted three of two breeds; I wanted Australorps; the Wyandottes were the most interesting to me of the other breeds Debbie was getting in that week. If I had known they’d be half-assed Wyandottes, I probably would have bought the Comets instead. At least, I’d have had laying machines. But then, that’s what they said about the Production Reds!

        My fantasy is to incubate breeder eggs from now on. Currently looking for high quality breeder eggs of Black Copper Marans, if you have any suggestions…

      • There has to be someone on BYC that will ship you eggs – however, I’d wait until next spring or find someone close by. The heat will reduce your chances a lot in fertility. They need to be stored at 60 degrees for best hatch-ability, and for no longer than 10 days.

        I would hate having Marans as my first hatching project – why? Becuase they are impossible to candle, and you can’t detect growth. I’ve heard the same for Easter Eggers, but have had best luck with light brown (barred rocks) and any white layers. Orpingtons would be really easy to candle :P maybe you can find some lavender? I know you’re partial to that colour. However, the marans would be good to slip under a broody and not have to worry about candling. The broody will tell you which eggs are bad.

        I was attracted to wyandottes because of their plumage. Their personalities aren’t my favourite, but they are great dual purpose birds that take cold weather very well.

      • Oh god…no more chicks this year! I’m considering getting a trio of Marans for a chi-chi breeder in NC (he doesn’t sell eggs). I want REALLY good breeding stock.

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