Number 5 is Alive

Does anyone remember that movie?   Just me?  Okay, well, then…

Today marks Dani and Eugenie’s 5th week-aversary.

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Claire’s Happy Little Family, week 5 🙂

Aren’t they the sweetest family, still?  Claire has truly surpassed my worries about her as a mother.  She is protective, yet lets her children have the space and independence to explore and learn on their own.   She teaches by showing once and then doing.

She apparently has help because some of the pullets (who still apparently think Claire is the Patron Saint of Young Chickens) have taken it upon themselves to watch over the babies.  As Eugenie still likes to wander off on her own sometimes and often confuses her momma with other Rhode Island Reds,  I guess this is a good thing that some of the pullets have appointed themselves to watch over and give guidance.  It’s sweet of them to repay Claire’s accidental protection with intentional.

It is still very hard to get pictures of both of these chicks.  Eugenie takes any attention I pay them as an attempt at picking her up and she will run for it.  But I did manage to get these of the happy little family.

Already at 5 weeks, most of their baby down is gone.  Eugenie is still a snowball.  Dani, a warm brown with white & tan feathers mixed in.

I am curious about how the next few weeks will go.  Dani and Eugenie, by virtue of it being summer time and not the dead of winter, have an entirely different relationship with their momma than Pip did with Abby.  They wander more, explore more. There’s more to eat, do and see.  They’ve already lost most of their baby fuzz and in that regard, they are ready to be free of momma.  But at 5 weeks, Claire is still putting them in bed in the coop by 5pm.  For all the freedom she gives them, bedtime is still very strict.  I can’t tell if either of them (or both) still sleep under her.  They returned to the maternity ward after their trial of the roosts.  I guess they prefer the solitude of the nest there to the crowded perches.  If I peek under the curtain – which I did yesterday – at least one of the chicks is sitting next to Claire, not under.

I wonder if Claire will push them away and out of the nest, return to her sisters, earlier than Abby did?  It’s summer, it’s warm.  They all won’t need to huddle and cuddle for body heat.  Or will they just slowly drift apart over the course of the summer, as age and more independence asserts itself?

Will the babies notice so much?  Or will they not care?  Pip stuck close to Abby most of the winter, even to the point of sitting in the nest beside her when she began laying eggs again and “baby sitting” her egg after to make certain no one touched his potential sibling.  It was hard to explain to him that momma didn’t need his help in the slightest.

How will these chicks be?

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