As time went on the little chicks began to shed their fuzzy fluff and pick at these tubes that appeared with their beaks. As they picked at the hard plastic-like tubes, they unfurled into little feathers. They were forever picking at themselves with their beaks and each time i peered into the stock tank they looked less like stuffed animals and more like little birds.
During this phase they looked awkward and scruffy.
They started roosting on top of the food and water dispensers, often knocking them over and making a sticky food goo in the shavings. I started moving the food and water dispensers farther apart.
Little Iris was doing well and catching up with the others in terms of development, as she had always lagged behind…the last to lose her giant baby bird butt, the last to gain tail feathers, and the last to begin flapping her wings in the little stock tank.
When they began flying around the stock tank i knew it was time for them to go outside but i had no habitat built for them.
As they became large birds i realized it was a do or die moment for the sustaining of chickens on the homestead. During my next two days off both the chicken coop and the chicken pen would have to be erected and made ready because, to keep them in a stock tank for another week at this size would be considered cruel confinement. They were already in each others space and when one would try to fly, fights would break out as other chickens perceived they were being attacked in the tiny space that did not afford room for flying. What little bit of sleep i did manage to obtain was plagued by anxious dreams as for the first time in my life, i couldn’t count on my physical body to just “get shit done” or “power through” and i wasn’t sure i had the ability or stamina to erect a chicken coop and pen by myself. But, i was all these animals had. I was their only option. So i was **** sure gonna try.