The chickens will be 5 weeks old tomorrow! Since I posted the last pictures at 2 weeks, they have gotten much bigger and grown many more feathers. They grew so big that we had to move them to a bigger box. As long as we were working out an upgrade, we figured we might as well install a perch. We tried placing each of them on the perch and at first Petunia was the only one that could hold her balance.
But even she was a little shaky at it!
Nellie's color transition is high contrast so you can really see where and when her feathers are coming in. Her neck has been gradually filling in, but in the meantime the mixture really accentuates the awkward transition phase from fluff to feather.
Camilla has become the chicken who is most at ease when being held. She is starting to show the striped feathers typical of the Barred Rock breed. Her flock position at the moment is a bit of a third wheel. Nellie and Petunia tend to be side by side most of the time. Camilla doesn't seem to mind and fills her time doing her own thing. Luckily none of them seem to be pecking at each other, so the pecking order is a bit more social than physical at this phase.
We have started to bring them outside for a little supervised foraging/exploring time.
It has been fascinating to see how the feathers come in. You can see the tips of feathers coming out of a sheath-like base in the photo below.
The same thing happens on their heads, too, but the sheaths and feathers are even smaller!
The wing feathers were the first to grow in and are looking pretty full on all three. Petunia's are the silkiest.
This photo is from just a few days later and they both have more feathers on their head and neck. It happens so fast!
Camilla is a pretty focused forager, eating clover, ants, dirt and pecking at whatever she comes across to see if it is food.
To move them from the basement to the yard or out of the brooder for cleaning, I have been using a 5 gallon bucket. I've jokingly been referring to this arrangement as my 3 piece chicken bucket. Here is a little collage to show the change in size they've undergone in just 4 weeks!
Paul has been making good progress on their coop and if all goes well, they will be transitioning outside in another 2 weeks. If they keep up this pace, they should have all of their feathers by then.