Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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28 Days Later

They're a month old now, and The Fab Four have lost much of their soft, fuzzy down, with new feathers poking out of their skin like sticks. Still too small to put outside in the coop, they are busy, squawky, and not shy about their desire for more room to roam. IMG_2318.jpg
Cutie Patootie remains the smallest and boldest of the group, always the first to explore new areas when I take them outside for their once or twice daily bug and seed eating expeditions. My friend Jen Chao calls her bad ass because Cutie ate a black widow spider yesterday.IMG_2303.jpg

Goldie, at left, is shy. She holds the distinction of being the first to catch and eat an earthworm. She also has developed an elaborate technique for eating clover that the others won't even try.


Sparkle, the silver-gray bird at bottom, is bold and friendly. She is the largest and will fly onto my arm on occasion and likes to be held. The first to cluck, she may be the noisiest. One of her pranks is escaping their enclosure, which she has done in the company of Cutie Patootie.

All of the Easter Egger chicks are now accomplished at low-level flying of short duration. They have a few tricks, as well, including a straight up-and-down hop that is funny and amazing. Other surprisy behavior includes: strange, chicken-y things like frantic scratching with their feet at the ground, kicking their wood shavings-bedding in every direction. And they sleep in weird positions, though recently they have discovered the classic hen position, much to my relief as some of their sleeping poses make them look as if they're dead.


Rainbow, above, is the most fearful of humans -- or perhaps the most independent, resisting human contact, the only one to struggle once she has been picked up. But she has awesome food-finding skills and was the first to eat an ordinary spider. She gets the least attention, and that's the way she wants it.

We've had them for a month now. The next step will be moving them outdoors to their coop, trying to keep them safe not only from raccoons and coyotes but hawks and dogs, our own not counted as Chyla, our shepherd-mix, is protective of the chicks. She whines when they squawk, coming to tell me that something is up. She tries to lick them as well. Only Cutie Patootie stands her ground, refusing to run from the beast, most of the time.

In addition to spiders and pill bugs, the little ladies love to eat heirloom tomatoes, pumpkin innards, plums, pasta, oregano seeds, yogurt, and rocks.

Twenty-eight days later, we've all changed, according to the laws of nature.

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