Currently, they are in a big cardboard box in the basement. So, yeah, the basement smells a little barnyardish right now. Well, it could be worse ...
(Last week, before we hooked up with Tim, we went to the Westminster Livestock Auction to see if we could get any little ones. Unfortunately, they were all being sold in bigger lots than we needed for our small backyard flock! However, we did have a good time ... but the smell of the auction reminded us of how a family friend's living room used to smell ... :^S)
So here they are. The black ones are the Australorps; the light-colored ones are the New Hampshire Reds.
The difference in personality between the two breeds is astounding. The Australorps are flighty and don't like to be caught or handled. They're also really fast and so a pain in the ass to catch. (And, of course, one of them has pasty butt*, so I have to catch her every day to check and clean her butt. All poop- and butt-related pet chores are automatically Mommy jobs.)
* Pasty butt is a condition that some young chicks get where their droppings stick around their vent and, if not cleaned up, can actually block them entirely and kill them.
The Reds, on the other hand, are calm and friendly. Rose, my favorite little one (not that I have favorites; Mommies never have favorites; I don't have a favorite Golden either *shifty eyes*), falls asleep in my hands, and twice today, she has fluttered up to perch on Bobby's arm when he's reached into the box.
Here's Bobby with one of the Australorps:
Who looks like she'd rather be somewhere else.
The whole time you hold the Australorps, they're stretching their necks to look back down into the box, like they can't wait to get back down with their sisters.
Now, Bobby with Rose:
And me with Rose:
We have picked out six names but haven't assigned them yet. We are naming four after the Golden Girls (yes, okay, embarrassing confession that this is my favorite TV show ever) and the remaining two after women in Irish folk songs, so we will end up with Rose, Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, Molly Malone, and Dicey Riley. We have assigned names to Rose and Dicey Riley (the one with pasty butt, of course), and I'm pretty sure I've got Dorothy picked out too.
Rose is easy to identify because she has dark markings on the top of her head. (She is also the friendliest and most at ease with us, hence my choice of names for her.) Actually, I can tell them all apart already, which is good.
Another of the Reds, not Rose. If we tried to do this with one of the Australorps, we'd have a flying chicken on our hands! Erm ... off our hands??
Chickens being chickens:
They love squash bugs too, by the way. They get a little treat every morning. >:^)
Bobby tried to do this the other day with one of the Reds, and it wouldn't work. No wonder, I told him, you don't have boobs!
And what a badass pirate I would make with a baby chicken on my shoulder instead of a potty-mouthed parrot with a peg leg.
And, finally, their big brothers aren't quite ready to interact with them yet. My goodness, when Bobby and I are in the chicken's room, you should hear the whining and crying on the other side of our impromptu barricade!
We're hoping to have them out in the grass for a little while sometime in the next few days, so I'm sure there will be more chicspam to follow.