Okay, maybe that's not such a nice thing to say, but every time Kim or I go into the powder room to check on them we are startled all over again by how. . . ugly. . . they are. I actually find it thought-provoking and inspiring that they can be so darn funny looking and not give a peep. They eat. They poop. They play. They don't spend a moment caring that some clueless human being standing in front of them is fascinated by how ugly they are. I aspire to that level of aplomb.
We're amazed at the difference in size and feathering among the chicks - which is probably a result of being a cross between two different breeds. They're all the same age, but some are feathered all over and some still have big bald spots. Some are all black and some, like this little pullet, clearly take after their Rhode Island Red fathers. Some have long bushy tails and some have no tails at all.
They've been quickly outgrowing their brooders. Soon it will be time to move them into the heat-lamp-warmed chicken tractor, which Kim has been busy cleaning and rejigging. In the meantime, she noticed that every time she lifted the lid to clean the fountains or add food to the feeders the chicks would immediately flap up to the rim, so she added some temporary head room. It'll do until the tractor is ready.