Meet the Peepers

Twenty-four days have gone by and, surprisingly, all six chicks are still with us. They are a resilient little gang who have tolerated our frequent pesterings, a few prolonged absences and our incessant fawning. We have spent a lot of time watching them develop their ‘chickenalities’ (TM) and building relationships with each of them.

Don’t give them names. If they have names, then they are pets. It’s hard to eat a pet.

Too late! (and kind of disturbing advice).  Our six chicks have names. Since our ultimate goal is to have three egg-laying hens and one rooster, most of them are pets and require names that suit them. Initially, I had envisioned names that matched the delicious egg dishes we would prepare with their eggs – Benny; Pickled; Souffle; Frittata; Deviled; Pudding; Brulee; Coddled; etc.

But, as we watched them over the first few days, we had to give them names so that we could tell them apart. The names we doled out generally had something to do with their appearance or their demeanour. It seems that these temporary nicknames have stuck, as nicknames tend to do.

Before you jump to the photos, you have to be warned that these little muffins are in the ugly ‘tween’ years and they currently look ratty, scrawny and almost scary! I guess they are almost half-way to adulthood so their appearance is similar to the pimply, buck-toothed, frizzy hair stage that we all went through. Consider them, if you will, to be 13 year olds.

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Roo (short for Rooster) was the first to receive a name. It seemed so obvious to us by day 4 that he was a HE. Somehow, he has lost all his down and is the slowest to grow feathers.

Peeps

Peeps is the singer. She chirps, peeps and trills all the time. All the others seek her out and like to rest their heads on her back when they’re sleeping. She would easily win the popularity contest of the flock.

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Croque Madame is the only chick who was given an egg-dish name. Out of the 4 Chanteclers, she has the most feathers and the longest tail. She has become more gregarious lately and often puts Roo in his place. (Maybe her name will change to Croque Monsieur)

Chip

Chip (short for Chipmunk) is the largest of the herd. When he was downy, his colouring was exactly like a chipmunk, but now he has these beautiful rusty feathers on his chest and stripey ones on his wings.

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Tweedle-Dee.  Two of the Chanteclers are very hard to tell apart. Their feather growth and mannerisms were identical until last weekend. Now, Dee has become a nervous wreck and often stands in a corner, trying to be invisible, whenever we come in the room.

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Tweedle-Dum acquired her name one day when she had successfully had a wild dust bath in some fresh droppings. When I discovered her, she was covered from wing to wing in some nasty crap which had crusted up. After a very stressful bath and hair-dryer experience, she never did it again, but the name stuck. (!)

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