Wednesday, July 27, 2011


yeah just come on in here
the TUF chickens have been doing phenomenally well despite the heat lately.  they are all together now in the coop/run, and have been for nearly a month!  feathers are coming in, personalities are emerging, roost rulers are disputed and politics abound.  at the moment, it would appear that ninja is the law of the yard.

floofy top down
ninja guards the food and water bottle as best she can from the chick invaders, but has been letting up a little lately as the chicks get bigger.  occasionally, she will still land a well-placed peck.  pearl, on the other hand, has taken it upon herself to gently show the young'uns all the ins and outs of chickendom.  she is the good cop if ninja's the bad cop; she is the nurturer to ninja's disciplinarian.

as a muppet

pearl and ninja are the original chickens in our TUFsperiment, and they have been dear silkie teachers of chicken keeping.  twitter and tumblr are the aforementioned young'uns, and they are growing at an unbelieveable rate.  we got them on june 20th, and already i freak out when i look at their baby pictures.  they are getting absolutely enormous!

 twitter's feathers are coming in just as a french cuckoo marans chicken's should...gray/blue with soft black lacing.  her feather pantaloons are promising to be voluminous!
she is the braver and more practical of the two baby ladies, exploring her environment with a critical but curious eye. she quietly investigates until a great wing-flapping sprint is necessary (usually away from a food item, and usually at the behest of ninja).
fuzzy head

tumblr's beautiful partridge feathers have filled out her wings and chest rather nicely, but her head seems to be trailing in the defluffification process.  nevertheless, she is growing a proud and elegant air, with something of an attitude to match.

peck peck
she has rather audacious eyeliner, and her feet are turning the slate gray that suggests her eggs will be a lovely shade of blue or green.  she is the showy chick; she fronts hard!  she ran off a huge black grackle the other day, apparently countering the frantically whispered advice of twitter.

against ninja, however, she flees quickly.  while twitter may retreat a few feet and try again for whatever choice tidbit is under contest, tumblr will flap dramatically and bolt back to the coop.  the existentialist and revolutionary are growing into the pragmatist and drama queen.

what's this then
mmmmmmm tomato
they are all living happy chicken lives together for the most part; initial tensions are beginning to give way to a peaceable existence. at night the chicks still seem to enjoy some pets and cuddles, and the larger ladies will crouch and stomp appreciatively in response to gentle backstrokes.  tumblr has fully recovered from her injury, and both adolescent chicks seem robust.  though less than aesthetically pleasing now, they are developing into beautiful chickens, half as big again as the silkies!

the eggs still come on a near-daily basis, even after a minor hiccup with pearl having gone broody for a moment--more information on broodiness and other chickenissues at the backyard chicken site, if you're interested.  all in all they are an absolute joy.  the little ladies will loom large by december, and we should be seeing the first light blue/green and dark chocolate eggs by then (color, not flavor, sadly!).  more on the chickens, our other menagerie members, and other sTUFf soon!  stay tuned!


  1. Very cool update. I want to follow your girls. I like all of those different colored eggs myself. BTW, any more rat snakes?

  2. ha! luckily it appears that we have permanently seen off the rat snake, although i am forever vigilant. i can't wait for the classy colored eggs! :)