Chicken shapes and fluffy bottoms

Since Freckles has come through her moult both my husband and myself have commented on what a spectacular serama shape she is. If you look at seramas on google that are up to show standard (not that I would have any interest in showing and nor could I with the mycoplasma in my flock) they should have their, rounded chests out, their wings down and their tails up.

I commented recently that a friend had said that Cinnamon was a “proper, normal, chicken, shape” and I think of her as a miniature chicken more than a serama in shape. I decided to take some photos of them both to demonstrate this but in fact when I looked at the photo of them side by side I realised that they are actually more similar than I had thought.

It’s a bit of an unfair comparison because Freckles is through her moult while Cinnamon is still moulting so Cinnamon still has a few tail feathers to grow in before she will look pristine. I can always do another comparison later but I thought this would be fun for now. I had to take quite a few photos to give a fair comparison as they do look different from different angles.

I also have to say that it matters not a jot to me anyway because I think Cinnamon is the cutest little girl and her extra small size just adds to her cuteness.

Cinnamon’s shape

Freckles shape

Cinnamon side on

Freckles side on

Cinnamon

Freckles

Cinnamon and Freckles side by side

Up until this photo I thought that they looked quite different. This does show that they do have a similar shape but Freckles tail feathers are more square edged whereas Cinnamon’s are more rounded. I think that is what makes them appear to look different.

I then started to look at tail shapes from behind and couldn’t resist doing a comparison of fluffy bottoms.

Speckles and Emerald’s fluffy bottoms

Freckles fluffy bottom

Cinnamon’s fluffy bottom

Dandelion’s fluffy bottom

Apricot’s fluffy bottom

Of course, silky feathered, Apricot is a fluff ball so her bottom is fluffy and her tail feathers are thin and wispy.

Dandelion’s frizzle feathers exaggerate the arched shape that the tail feathers have. You can see that arched shape in Cinnamon’s tail whereas I thought that Freckles squarer tail was flatter and didn’t have this shape but once directly behind her you can see that she does have that arched shape but is more triangular in shape.

Who would have thought that they would all have such individual fluffy bottoms and tail shapes. At the end of the day I think that they are all beautiful.

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At the food dish

I love the way the girls do things together. One minute they are all in the food dish and the next they are all around the water. It’s as if one signals that they all follow.

Three little heads in the food dish

Apricot waits her turn

However by the time, bottom girl, Apricot got there the other three left. I thought I was going to get a shot of all four little girls round the food dish but the other three left too quickly for me to get the shot. Oh well, it’s still quite cute.

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Another wet day

Today has been one of many days, recently, where it has rained most of the day. On wet days the girls spend time in the shelters even though the run is roofed. When they hear the rain they seem to like the security of being under another roof.

All the little girls are in the small shelter

Speckles decided she must join them

Emerald was in the big shelter. I think she decided the small shelter was too crowded!

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Cinnamon dust bathing

Cinnamon loves to dig. She is always digging and when she wants a dust bath she spends ages digging the deepest hole of any of the girls. Emerald was dust bathing a little further up the run than Cinnamon. Emerald makes a shallow well and dust baths while sitting on the almost level soil. Cinnamon keeps on digging until she nearly disappears into her hole.

Cinnamon digs and digs

And pecks at the soil

She has to get the hole just right

Cinnamon spent so much time on her hole that I eventually gave up and left her to it. The next day she was dust bathing in Emerald’s dust hole. Maybe it was just too much effort to dig her own hole again.

Cinnamon dust baths

Cinnamon still has white pins on her head

Cinnamon is pretty much fully feathered again apart from the pins on her head. Seramas seem to have pins on their heads for a very long time. Cinnamon’s show up more than the other girls because of the contrast of the white pins against her brown feathers. It will be good to see these open eventually.

Cinnamon is the smallest of all the girls but the most active. She is rarely still for long. She is a little cutie!

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Signs of spring in the garden

Little splashes of colour are beginning to appear in the garden giving us hope that spring is on it’s way.

The winter flowering jasmine has been flowering all through the winter

Snowdrops are up

They are so pretty underneath

Hellebores

Also pretty underneath

Pulmonaria

Miniature cyclamen

There are also yellow and pink primula but they didn’t photograph well. I love seeing the first flowers of the year giving the garden a little colour and the promise of more to come.

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Two groups

Our flock is a very united flock but just occasionally they separate into two groups.

All the little girls together

Four little girls in a line

Two bigger girls together

Speckles and Emerald

These two know that this is where the sun always is in winter. The little girls soon joined them here. I love having such a united flock.

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Getting towards the end of the moult

The moult seems to be going on forever this year but I think we are getting towards the end of it.

Speckles is looking good

Emerald still has very little tail

Freckles new tail feathers are looking amazing

Dandelion is looking good

Cinnamon has dropped her ragged tail feathers

Apricot is a fluff ball

Emerald just needs her tail feathers to grow in and Cinnamon needs a few more tail feathers and still has pins on her head yet to open but they are looking pretty good.

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Bedtime routine

The girl’s bedtime routine is the same every day just like clockwork. They wait at the end of the run for me to go up and give them the bedtime corn. They then have a quick scratch by the patio area to make sure no corn has been missed.

Emerald always goes in first and always sits in this corner and always faces front

Followed by Speckles

The little girls always congregate in this corner before bedtime

At this point Speckles will often run out again and go up to the little girls and cluck at them. It is so obvious that she wants them to make their way in but they take little notice of her. She then returns to her spot next to Emerald.

Cinnamon is always the first little girl to go in to get her spot next to Speckles

Cinnamon always snuggles up to Speckles. She flutters her way under Speckles wing like a chick to her mum. She has a snug warm spot as close to Speckles as she can get.

Apricot is next in

Followed by Freckles and Dandelion is always last and always on the end

The only slight variation is that Freckles likes to be around the middle and sometimes her and Apricot may be the other way around. Cinnamon is always next to Speckles though and Dandelion is always on the end.

Emerald always faces the front but all the other girls will randomly face either way. It is quite sweet to this little routine play out each day.

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Snow

Yesterday we were forecast snow in the morning and then rain in the afternoon giving us a whole wet day.

The snow turned out to be more than we expected. It snowed from eight in the morning until one in the afternoon when it did indeed turn to rain.

It’s snowing

The garden in the snow

Luckily it was too wet to settle. The forecast is much milder for the next week which will be welcome.

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Bedtime dust bath

Apricot has a habit of, quite often, having a dust bath just before bedtime. She waits until I have given the girls the bedtime corn then digs herself a dust hole. I always think the dust she is flicking over herself must be rather cold at this time of day.

Apricot has a dust bath before bedtime

End of day dust bath

When she has finished she shakes herself off and joins the rest of the girls at the patio ready to make their way into the chicken shed for the night.

Yesterday was the first day back on tylan and by the afternoon Dandelion had managed to clear the crust from her eye. I wanted to see if she could clear it herself, without my help, and despite being there all morning it was gone by the afternoon. I assume that, like last time, she scratched it off.

Dandelion’s right eye is now clear

I hope that with the milder weather that is forecast this may be the end of this for now.

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