So Big!

I was away at a conference this weekend. I was gone for just an overnight, but the days were so jam-packed, and my head was so filled with conversations and things to think about, that it felt as if I’d been away for weeks. When I came home, I looked out at the Old Girls’ pen, saw this and thought I must have been away for as long as it felt.


There was Betsy, saying good-night to Pip. But, something about her stance didn’t look right. A closer look revealed that it was one of the Delaware chicks talking with her goat-friend. The chick was as large as Betsy!

Only two days away and I no longer had babies in the pen, instead there were birds that looked fully feathered and that were only slightly smaller versions of their mature selves! This morning when I went out to care for the animals the temperature hadn’t even reached 40 degrees F. Cold. Some of the chicks were sleeping under the heat lamp, but many were not. I have the brooder door open to the Big Girls’ side, and some chicks were already in the coop. Their sturdy, glossy outer feathers were keeping them warm. They no longer need the protection of the brooder except during the coldest hours of the night. I opened the pop door and they hurried outside. Two chicks have already learned how to sit together on the roost! It’s a good thing that I have plenty of room, as there is some chest bumping, and ruffled feathers and arched neck challenges as the chicks sort out who they are as they grow up. But the tiffs don’t turn into anything serious because there are enough resources to share and because they have the space to communicate and then move away from each other. (Is there a lesson here for us humans? Likely so.)


The chicks that I’m not keeping for myself and for the nursing home will be ready to go to new owners in two weeks. I will be selling twelve pullets. $20 each. I will sell all to one person, or will divide into two groups. They will not be sold singly. Preference is given to those who have taken my chicken keeping workshop (or coming to the one in June) but I’ll consider other homes. Email me if interested.


  1. How little chicks do grow up quickly! My own little chick is experiencing her last day of high school classes and momma hen is besides herself. Time flies and then little chicks fly the coop.

  2. I hope the two roosting together (again this am) can stay together. The Delaware is huge! Wow! It happens so fast. Letting us watch in Chickcam makes it better. Thanks for that and thanks to Steve for engineering it all.

    • Delawares are a meat breed developed in the 1940s, just before meat chickens turned into the hybrid, caged birds that we have today. So, they put on weight quickly, but they are still active and good egg layers. They’re the most gentle of the chicks in this flock.

  3. People think I’m crazy when I say you can actually see differences in them overnight. My little ones went to the outside brooder on Saturday. They are loving it with all the room to roam inside their half of the big coop. Two nights and I can already see changes in the way they are feathering out.
    I know the rules about separating them by wire in the run when it’s time to introduce, but I was thinking of opening up the two sides of the inside of the coop with only wire so the big girls have lots of time to get used to their neighbors. But not sure if this would cause too much stress seeing that it would be full time, day/night. My older girls were NOT diggin all the peeping and were very leery of going in their coop the first night. They are very curious of all the hub bub. :)
    This morning on the hen cam, I see the same two chicks on the outside roost again. Cute.

    • Absolutely, let them see each other. It’ll be less stressful for the older hens if they can see the source of the noise.

  4. I love scenes like this on HenCam- the little ones and the old ladies in the run, and the goats in the background, and it looks like a beautiful spring day!