The baby flock (not to be confused with the big girl flock--Tori, Ingrid, and Lani) took their first trip outside this past weekend.
It amazes me how strongly their instincts direct them. At first, they clump together to stay safe in the new environment. Then they gradually start scratching and pecking at the ground. Then they get really excited about scratching and pecking at the ground. They're just hard-wired to be chickens, there's no doubt about it.
Unfortunately, I think three of them are hard-wired to be rooster chickens. Although they could surprise me still, it's actually really easy to see now that they're grown out a little and I know what to look for. Having pairs of the same breed helps too, because you have an exact comparison.
Etta actually appears to be growing tiny spurs already. Flo and Joni both have super thick legs and much more in the way of combs than their "twins" Gladys and Judy. They're also about 30% bigger, and acting all full of themselves.
I'm determined to eat them this year. It was a miracle that we lucked into such a nice home for last year's roo. To luck into that again for not just one, but three of them? Not likely. And making the discovery early will help--Norah was already so much a pet by the time we figured out she was he, the new three will be "meat boys" from the start.
But, you never know until they crow. (Tee-hee.) For now they're all just happy little chickies playing (and trying to escape) in the sunshine.