Well, I hate to say it, but my chicks have entered their ugly stage. I love them, but wow, they are soooo ugly right now. Their chick fuzz is falling out in tufts and their feathers are just starting to come in, but in the meanwhile they look like they just got out of bed after a sweaty, rumpled sleep. Everything sticking out in clumps. Sorry, guys. I went through it, too. Or something like it.

They got their first taste of foraging today while I cleaned the coop. Our rusty old fire pit walls were put to good use. They seemed to like it, and a few even started instinctively flapping their wings. They were able to get about a foot high, which made me nervous enough to put the lid on them.

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They seemed to enjoy it, running around and pecking at the dirt. I need to get a chicken tractor so I can let them free range soon. We thought we’d be ok letting them run free without one since our yard is fenced, but there’s been a hawk in my neighbor’s spruce lately, and she said the other day she saw him eating a squirrel. My chickies wouldn’t stand a chance.

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We’re still working on socializing. They get really freaked out when I reach for them, but settle down once I’ve got them. I try to handle them a little every day.

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Home sweet home. Complete with a new tree branch, courtesy of our maple, which smashed our back porch light in last Thursday’s storm. But at least the littles got a new roost out of it.

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