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chicks in the world

Chicks grow fast. The boys take turns caring for them, week by week: whosever rotation it is has to refill their feeder at least twice a day. It doesn't help that, despite having all that food delivered up to them in a container designed for the purpose, they just can't resist practicing their natural behavior of scratching violently at the ground with their feet. So they scatter their food everywhere, and fill their feeder with with shavings. For sure, they're growing birds and they need their exercise, and their brooder is very small. So now that they have some proper feathers and we're confident they can regulate their temperature, we're giving them some time outside.

partially fledged chicks among sun-dappled weeds

hard to photograph them, they move so fast

I do feel a little bad for them not having moms to take care of them and show them the ways of the world. If they did, they'd be able to enjoy the outdoors way longer and way earlier. But even without it's amazing to see how naturally they take to the outside world, where all that scratching makes sense! A much bigger variety of things to peck, taste, and fight over! And most importantly, room to stretch their wings! Before too long they'll be living out their permanently. I wonder how the old hens will take to them?

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