Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Field Trip to the Kiddy Pool

Today, the chicks got to escape their brooder box for a bit!

After the initial fearful paralysis that chicks seem to suffer from in any new situation:

they quickly recovered and began their thorough investigation of their new surroundings:

Roxy was very interested in the whole affair...almost disturbingly so. I would definitely not leave her alone with the chicks at this point:

Every time a bird flew past the window outside, the chicks' necks would get really long and they'd freeze for a moment, until they felt it safe to move again:

Below is one of the two videos I managed to get. The other actually had a chick flying out of the pool, right at my face, and me shrieking a bit - not pretty - so that one's now on the cutting room floor (or possibly filed away to make Jim laugh later).

This clip has a little bit of everything - flocking, pecking, danger, mystery, intrigue....

That big THUMP toward the end of the video is a bird from outside flying into one of our living room windows. Ouch. You can see it stopped the chicks cold for a second.

When I first thought to put them in the kiddy pool, I wanted to take advantage of today's (fleeting) beautiful sunshine and take the pool outside, but then I noticed the thermometer read only 49 degrees and thought otherwise. Now I'm really glad for another reason:

The little beasties kept flying out. I'm really dumb for not anticipating this - it could have been really bad. Initially, they would just perch on the edge of the pool but then, if either Roxy or I moved, they would flap down to the ground and start running around the outside of the pool. It was harder than I imagined, too, trying to catch them while also trying to keep the dog from "helping".

Here's the latest on Dot, one of my puffball-headed chicks:

Nice 'do, don't you think? It's growing very differently than her sister's (Spot's) is - you can see them both in this next picture:

...I'm worried that Dot might actually be a little roo. Anyone know how to sex a White-Crested Black Polish? (That sounds really odd, doesn't it? Fortunately, I know you know what I mean.) :-)


  1. You're right! Roxy is waaay too interested in the chicks. They are sooo cute!

  2. Your photos and video are great! I love all the chirping and activity. Sorry, I don't have any experience with the fluffy headed chicks. Dot still may be female, just with a unique "hairstyle". Sort of the Albert Einstein look. Could be a very smart hen when she grows up. I loved your kiddy pool field trip. I am so glad you and the chicks (and Roxy) are having fun.

  3. My T-Bone gets that curious with our new chicks every year, but he is the best chicken herder and actually is protective, I did have to teach him that though.
    Those puff balls are adorable.

  4. Dot is gorgeous! My friend with a farm broods her chicks in a baby pool. I don't think they ever get out.

  5. Wow. They are getting so big. They are always busy...just like little kids! I will have to show Grayson the movie tomorrow.

  6. Hi fay!!! That little doggy of mine can get very intense at times! Fortunately, the chicks don't look much like the squirrels she loves to chase.

    Hi farmer jen - how are you? My subject matter is awesome, which makes the picture-taking easy! :-)
    That was so funny - when I read your "Albert Einstein" comment, I could totally see the resemblance in Dot! I had to giggle - the poor girl - but maybe she does have some Einstein brains...very new for hens, right? They are all so precious and I am having a ball. :-)

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - how did you teach your T-Bone to be protective and not predatory toward your hens? Roxy is only 15 pounds so I figure if I can just keep the girls safe until they reach their 7 to 8 pounds, they'll be formidable in their own right! :-)

    Hi christy - your friend's pool must be a lot deeper than mine is - those little girls hardly had to exert themselves to get up to the edge and they're only 2 weeks old! Of course, my girlfriend, the SL Wyandotte, has been flying up to the edge of the brooder box for a few days now, but this was the first time I'd seen the others do was a crazy scene!

    Hi frugalmom...they are growing so fast, it's mind-boggling! No wonder they sleep like they are dead and eat more than I can keep up with...they're burning calories faster than imaginable!!

  7. Oh my gosh, they are soooooooo cute. Too bad they don't stay little forever. The world would be full of cuteness if everything stayed little forever. I keep wishing it on my girls, but it's not working....

  8. What would happen if Dot is a roo? Would you keep :)

  9. Hi farmgirl, I'll post how I worked with him soon, otherwise it would be an awfully long comment.

  10. This is too much!! Danni, Daisy met the chicks this morning and now I can't get her out of my seat!!!
    Next time the bird hits the window...try not to snicker!!! HA HA!!!
    You make me laugh!!! ;-)

  11. They have grown sooo much in such a short time. Soon they'll be laying eggs!

  12. Love the fuzzies! I don't have any this year.
    I noticed they'll eat out of your hand---good job Mom! If you'll say "chick, chick, chick" when you do it, then they'll be trained to come to you forever. My chickens can be way over in the neighbor's flower beds and all I have to do is call, and they come running (very funny, btw).

  13. Hi ranch mommy - I know...they grow up much too fast! I tried this with my boys and it totally didn't work - they're 16 and 19 now!

    Hi farm mom - What happens if Dot is a roo? Well, being the eternal optimist that I am, I will hope it all works out. Ask my husband, though, and he says any rooster will be "outta here". He's very sensitive about his sleep and upsetting neighbors and feels a rooster would be a huge hit to both of those. We shall see, won't we? :-)

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - I'm looking forward to your post!

    Hi eve - how funny about Daisy. There's something about their little chirping that's just mesmerizing to the pups. And don't think bad of me about the snickering (did I really snicker?) :-)'s horrific and stunning every time those birds hit our window, and it's happening more and more. It's not like all our windows are huge, either. Seems they should be able to see that this isn't an opening to fly through. It's awful, but I can't hang those little black shadows in every window. :-(

    Hi judy - you'll have to swing by Oregon for some farm-fresh eggs! :-)

    Hi ceecee - thanks for the suggestion...I will begin the "chick, chick, chick" training today! I would love it if they would come running whenever I called them - how funny!


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