Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baby Chicks - Growing Up, Meeting The Dogs

I recently posted about the baby chicks' arrival. Well, one week later they were still in the spare bedroom, separated into two very large Rubbermaid bins. I pulled the heat lights out of the bins and began using them, farther away, to help control the heat by turning them on or off. I also opened and closed the window. During one cold spell, I had to put a small heater in the room:

I had 26 chicks after one week, 13 in each bin. Here's one set of them. When I took this photo, they were beginning to get tiny wing feathers and their beaks were growing. I think they looked like little vultures. They were passing out of the cute stage and into the gangly teenage stage:

But still the problem of getting the dogs accustomed to them persisted, so I introduced the dogs one at a time. Fergus was not impressed. He seemed to be saying, "Yech-Poo. Here's what I think of your chicks:"

"Please, Dad. I don't want to be in the room with these stinky birds any more:"

Madeline had a similar, tongue out reaction:

But she understood that she was not to harm the chicks. Her solution was to pretend they didn't exist and just look away:

Well, the dogs may not have liked the chicks, but I sure did:

I concluded that the dogs looking away was a good reaction, that it meant they knew the chicks were not to be touched - even when one tried to burrow beneath Clover as if she was its mama hen:

The chicks had no fear and Clover seemed to be OK with them:

My hyperactive, mouse killing Daphne was the big problem. She wanted to either play with them or eat them - I didn't let her get close enough to find out which. But in this photo, the opposite seemed to be happening, as if the chick was bullying Daphne. "Back off, dog breath, or I'll peck you right in the nose!":

The chicks were more hand friendly than my parakeet:

Seamus, ever the gentle and patient soul, even got to wear a chick for a hat. He did look entirely put upon, though, didn't he?:

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