We still have a few weeks until they begin gracing us with eggs, but watching them remains quite entertaining. They like watermelon and do an amazing job of cleaning up the rinds after our children have had their fill. But their favorite treat, by far, is black soldier fly larvae which, luckily for them, happen to hatch in our compost pile. Watching them dig into a pile of compost and pick out those wiggling larvae is a joy to behold — because they are chickens demonstrating the ultimate in chicken-ness, something that wouldn’t happen even in many “free range” egg operations.
They aren’t cheeping now, but aren’t quite clucking yet, either — they’re getting close, however. The Black Australorps have developed a beautiful green sheen to their feathers that you can see in the sun. Slowly, but surely, their little combs and wattles are growing in — but not aggressively enough to make us think they might be cockerels. They like to sleep all cramped up in one or two of the nest boxes — that must stop before they really start to lay, but it’s just so charming to see them try to arrange themselves into the smallest possible space, even as they continue to grow so rapidly.
Meanwhile, we’re in the process of researching and beginning to build a temporary moveable fencing solution, so they don’t wander too far afield when they’re not asleep.