So I finally finished the chicken run and the girls get to roam outdoors within the confines of their fence all day now. They were clearly meant to be outside enjoying tasty grass and weeds and digging for bugs. They're catching on to the pleasures of worms, slugs and bugs. Every time one of them finds a creature, the others start running around after her maniacally and it passes beaks a few times before someone finally gobbles it down.
When I opened the chicken door to let them out of their house for the first time, they behaved, of course, like the chickens that they are. I eventually tossed some grass on their "porch" to coax them along. It turns out that while Mildred is the most curious and brave, Flo is the greediest. She came out to munch on the grass first, she was the first to walk down the ramp to get the next pile of grass I left there, and she was the first to jump down onto the ground. She is also the one who usually gets the worm.
Mercifully, the ugly adolescent period has passed and they are getting cuter, fatter and fluffier every day.
They're still kids in many ways, though. The girls' voices are still more peepy than clucky and they haven't gotten the hang of eating vegetable scraps yet. We tried some parsnip peels the other day and they just got thrown around and trampled a bit. And they're still not sleeping like adults do, on a roost that's high up. In fact, for their first few days outside, when it got dark they just face-planted in a pile in the corner of their fence. We had to scrape them up each night and stick them inside their house. Now they seem to be going inside at dusk, although it could just be that I'm running out of the house and shutting them in before they get a chance to bust outside again. I have been accused of being overly protective of the chickens. I suppose it's pointless to argue.
Here's Flo waving at ya.