Damn, the hardscrabble streets of Concord are a tough place. And they're discussing my baby chickens out there now. They're only a week old and already the subject of hard gossip. I panicked, and quickly changed the subject.
But darn, they are very cute, and it's getting more difficult to handle the paparazzi who keep sending me repeated requests for more photos. So I offer these here (click on the two at right to launch a larger image in a pop-up window).
Now, you might think I'm trying to shield these chicks, that they're part of some witness protection program or something because they only ever appear in blurred form. But the fact is: these kids don't stop moving long enough to photograph until they're asleep... which I am by then, too. At that point, they're faceplanted in their shredded paper litter, a little bundle of quickly respiring fuzziness. All together they take up about as much space as a slice of bread.
They are growing quickly, and you can see from these images that the light-colored ones -- the New Hampshire Reds -- have a full set of wing feathers! I have been rather disturbed all week about this, because I was suspecting these two to be older than newborn when they were shipped -- which would have been cruel (newly hatched chicks can go a day or two without first food or water). But last night I read in my chicken snailmail catalog (What?! You don't receive at least one yourself??!) that this particular strain of NH's are bred for quick feathering out, so I feel better about it now. (Why anyone would take the trouble to bring out this particular characteristic was not mentioned.) Today, one of these two girls came very close to flying out of the brooder today, and I'm not sure who was more surprised: me or the chick. Obviously, new living arrangements need to quickly be made. (I'm looking for a large cardboard box for their next quarters: something on the order of a dishwasher or washing machine-sized box -- please email me if you have one I can pick up -- thanks.)