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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our Wyandotte

Here's our newest little chick, and what a difference in size between her and the other two, who are only about a week older! She is adorable; I love her markings. And she will only get more beautiful as a mature hen. (See pictures here of mature Silver-Laced Wyandottes.)

I called the store every day for three days of the week they said new Wyandottes would come in, and on the third day at 3:00 pm they said they had 16 left. (I'm curious how many they started out with.) An hour later I arrived there and saw only six or seven were left. Whew, I was glad I got there when I did!

Chickens are very social creatures, so I felt bad for this little chick as she made her solo trip home, chirping shrilly all the way.

I was a little concerned about how well the veteran chicks would accept the new one, so I did a little research beforehand. The consensus seemed to be that, with such a small difference between ages, the transition might be okay, but to keep an eye on things.

So I removed the older two to a box, spruced up the brooder and changed the water, then put the baby in by herself for a couple minutes. When I placed the other two in with the baby, they stared at her with such intensity that it worried me. I wondered what they were thinking. Then curiosity got the better of them and they began investigating. The baby fluffed herself up and tucked her head down, staying as still as could be, awaiting the moment of judgment. It was a tense few moments. But as I checked on them periodically through the rest of the day, it seemed they were growing more comfortable together. And the Wyandotte became less timid as she saw the other two weren't going to eat her.

Happily, before long, the older chicks allowed the baby to cuddle up with them, as seen in the picture below, and now they seem to have transitioned completely. The baby no longer chirps so shrilly either, so I'm thinking she must feel better with her new friends. What a relief!

It has been interesting to note the differences in behavior between a new baby and older chicks, similar to human babies. Our Wyandotte sleeps a lot more and chirps louder than her more awake and energetic older friends. She is also wobbly where they are very sure-footed and have even started trying to fly a bit. Just like children, chicks grow up too fast!

1 comment:

Poultry Matters said...

That's a very cute little wyandotte chick.


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