We have had the five amigos for three and a half weeks now, four weeks on Wednesday. It seems like longer because they have integrated so quickly and easily. They are also growing quickly.
I have been a bit nervous about whether Vanilla was a girl because of a combination of her big feet, her red face and her deep, honky, sounding voice. I have been telling myself that I was being paranoid and that Blue was smaller than the amigos when we became certain that he was a boy. He had a red comb and wattles and he had no voice until he started crowing.
Yesterday I had a revelation. I was cleaning the chicken shed when I heard a honky kind of voice similar to Vanilla coming from behind me. I turned round to see that it was Sienna. I had a light bulb moment. It was the start of her grown up voice.
I realised that Vanilla is probably a bit more mature than the other amigos and the honky voice is the beginning of her grown up voice. The red face is also a sign of her maturing.
The other difference with Vanilla is that she has a very short tail but Marmite does too. I am finding feathers from the amigos so I think that they are having their partial baby moult and getting their adult feathers in.
I think that these are all signs that the amigos are growing up.
Note the difference in tail on Vanilla in the background.
Salmon is the smallest of the amigos. Smoke and Vanilla look the most mature. They were having a little spat yesterday and it had been obvious that Smoke was top girl from when we first had them but it now seems that Vanilla is second girl. Marmite is bottom girl with Spangle and Salmon seeming to be about equal in the middle.
As they are so well integrated I have now removed the feeding station at the bottom of the run from the day that I finished worming them.
I will give it a couple more days and then I will remove the feeding station from half way down the run. We will return to just one feeding station on the patio area which is better because the pellets don’t end up in the dirt.
The amigos come to the patio and eat from the dish and drink the water so I am confident that they know where everything is and we don’t need multiple feeding stations any longer. I have also removed the water bottles. I prefer not to have bottles in winter because they freeze more quickly.
The only progress still needed is for the amigos to perch at bedtime but I am sure they will soon latch on to it. I am leaving Dandelion to perch on their side of the chicken shed as she perches at the end furthest from the corner that they bundle into. I had hoped she might lead the way for them but so far they like their corner. I am sure that it is only a matter of time.