I’m not sure I can really call them chicks anymore. They’re not full-sized, but they have all of their feathers, and they hardly resemble the sweet little balls of fluff they were a short five weeks ago. This week, the plumes around their legs flare out, making them look much more grown up.
The chickens explore every inch of the backyard this week and find ways to slip through the gate into the front yard several times. The second I hear them cheeping in the front yard, life seems to shift into a Three Stooges episode with me trying to wrangle four chickens into the back yard, while keeping three cats at bay and watching a baby. Hijinks tend to ensue. By midweek, we get all the gaps in the gate blocked, and the chickens roam the backyard for much of the day. Near the end of the week, we can even let the cats into the backyard at the same time- with supervision.
We’re feeling more confident that maybe, just maybe, we got four hens. Except – the black (and now white) one without the comb is still much bigger than the other. But it’s turning mostly black, and the other is turning mostly white… so we’re hoping maybe they’re different breeds. We’re waiting to name them until we’re sure we don’t have any roosters – hopefully within the next two weeks.
In the last few weeks, I’ve become increasingly aware of how many words and idioms come from raising chickens: the chickens have come home to roost, cocky, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, full-fledged, chicken-hearted, flew the coop, no spring chicken, rules the roost, and so many more. I can’t help but feel like I’ve joined a big club of English-speaking chicken-keepers.