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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Photos: Marans Mania

Our pair of Black Copper Marans are doing great and slowly getting used to us. I find that they are petrified of us when they are in their small pen, anxiously climbing the walls to get away from you unless you sit still for several minutes with an extended handful of dry oatmeal as a peace offering. They came from a breeder at the age of seven weeks and obviously had little hands on attention. However, I find that, after a hectic feathered frenzy of catching them, when I put them in the back yard to peck around and play, they seem far less worried about people. They'll walk all under your chair, accept treats, and somewhat follow you to whatever area of the yard your working on. When you pick them up they pretty much melt in your arms with no fight, showing truth of the gentle nature they are known for I guess.

Are chickens claustrophobic? We tend to see the same behavior in our adult chickens. In the tractor they only like you if you have treats. Given the freedom of their own yard, they could care less where you are (and are easily caught too).

But back to the Marans... they are progressing nicely and are fully feathered without a trace of fuzz at nine weeks. Jacques, the roo, started "crowing" last week. It started off sounding more like a tiny dinosaur was being tortured back there, but now he's progressed to sounding like a really over used squeaky dog toy. Patty, our big rooster, I guess has been teaching him. Jacques seems to like to mimic Patty crowing, and in fact you can usually hear Jacques give it a go within a minute or so of Patty crowing.

Jacques is the tamer of the two, with Giselle only coming up to accept a treat after she sees that Jacques didn't die from human contact. I'm keeping faith that she'll come around eventually if we give her the time and space she needs. If I know anything, its that you can't force animals of any kind to like you.

Our backyard gardens of raised beds are surrounded in deep sand which, to us, helps keeps weeds at bay as well as keep our plants clean, but to the chickens.... well... sand is a treasure. Jacques recently figured out that having sand at his disposal means all the dust baths he can muster up. Giselle hasn't tried it out yet, and likes to peck and claw at Jacques in mid-bath, as if she's confused as to what his deal is. It's pretty fun to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I love them! Can't wait for their beautiful babies... Damn chicken math!


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