Imagine a dandelion just as it's going into seed. Imagine it the day before it completely turns white and the seeds blow away and scatter everywhere. Can you see it? The small spikes of the seeds with pale pieces of fluff on the ends. Now, imagine that dandelion is trying to sprout feathers.
That is exactly what my chicks look like right now. Apparently, adolescence is awkward for humans and birds alike.
Many things have happened with the chickens lately, but perhaps the most dramatic was when one of them tried to escape from the cardboard box. One day I came home from work to find the one yellow chick in the corner of the room, outside of the box. She was terrified. A terrified chick makes a shrill, piercing chirp, the chicken equivalent of yelling "help, help, help." I told Kent about it, and he said, "Which chick?" I said, "The yellow one." He said, "Oh, you mean Franny?"
He was being spontaneously cute, and he caught me off guard, but I got to thinking...Franny is a really good chicken name, and it fits.
So, my chickens now have names! Franny, Zooey, and Boo Boo* and then Kent--insisting that he would feel more invested in these chicks if he could name one-- named the runt, Scrambly. As in I can't wait to make scrambly eggs. [* Do you know why three of these names belong together?]
Obviously, it's a problem if the chickens begin running rampant in the laundry room. Part of my solution was to give them more space. I have added an entire wing to their box, with a little chicken sized door between the two areas.
Alas, it did no good. Now that the chicks have enough feathers on their wings to see some actual air time, they just want to perch on the edge of the cardboard box. However, we seem to have an understanding. The "ladies" don't ever jump off the box or out of the box, save for Franny's one mishap. So perhaps Franny has warned the others of the horror of getting lost outside of the box.
In the meantime I am ramping up production on the poultry palace. I now have perches that I salvaged from the woodpile in my back yard.
In the photo below are all the chickens from left to right: Boo Boo, Zooey, Scrambly, and Franny. They grow so fast, though that I have to keep a constant watch on who's who. Poor Kent, who has been very busy with the end of semester finals, papers, and portfolio grading didn't see the chicks for a couple of days, and he then couldn't even tell which one was Scrambly.