The Rubys are 8 weeks old today and we thought it was time for them to venture outside!
The chicks are not ‘chicks’ anymore, but more pullets, though the definition is loose, and given a pullet is a hen less than 1 year old, and because they’re not ‘chicks’ anymore, we’ll refer to them as pullets! The Rubys are really starting to show their beautiful Welsummer markings now and exhibit chicken behaviours such as dustbathing and competing for food. Ruby is slowly moving away from the mothering behaviour she’s showed since the chicks arrived, and she will now compete with the pullets for food rather than find food for them and show them what to do with it.
Last week we named The Rubys individually and gave them all a coloured ring, so that we can easily identify them. We wanted the names to have a connection with Ruby, so we decided on a gemstone theme, so we have Crystal (pink leg ring), Pearl (white leg ring) and Sapphire (blue leg ring). We’ve also started to record their weights every 2 weeks along with the other hens and use this time to give them an overall check; the pullets are around 500g so plenty of growing still to do!
To mark their 8 week age we took them outside to experience the fresh air and grass, and also give them a larger area to explore; we’ll put them and their coop and run outside properly in a few days, but wanted to let them start to experience the natural world. We made a makeshift run for them and took them to this in a cardboard box and let them step out onto the grass and into the sunshine. The pullets spent the next hour or so following Ruby around, walking round and round the run area, pecking at the grass and looking around and upwards, at the big world. The sun came out from time to time and at it’s warmest, they all gave into the heat and flopped to the ground to sunbathe! It was great to watch and good to see them all outside on the grass rather than indoors – hopefully there’s enough of the summer left that they’ll get some more sunbathing days soon!