For the last three nights Mary and I have been entertained watching our five little ones file on up to the roosting area for the night. Tonight I got my camera and went out to see if we could record the event.
Sometime around five o’clock in the evening we go out and coax the family into the coop. That has turned out to be a very easy task as the chicks come from all around the yard to get their evening meal. They file in and begin to eat and drink water preparatory to bed time.
In accordance with some internal clock that tells the little chicks (now nearly chickens) that nightfall is near, they start to scurry about and chirp to alert everyone that it is nearly time to file up to the box for the night.
Then, right at about sunset, one of the dominant hens hops up onto the ladder and turns to chirp loudly to the others.
The chicks have the principle down pat, but not all of the logistics are clear! The first few chickens get up the ladder and stand in the narrow doorway encouraging the others but they fail to make room for the later comers. The problem is especially tough on the largest chick who is in the process of growing adult feathers and, with his larger size, does not get sufficient lift from his wings.
Please enjoy these short video clips taken in limited light as the chicks get ready for the night. The first shows our biggest chick almost up and into the box when one of the others flies up and dislodges him.
After he falls down the other chicks encourage him to try again and again do not move out of the way. This time he exercises the prerogative of being the biggest and simply makes room for himself! Lori, you can see that even the smallest of the bunch has mastered climbing the ladder.
These videos were either too dark or too long to load up in the normal way, so we had to put them on YouTube. Sorry about the sound of the water pump whirling in the background, but we wanted to share some of our evening entertainment with you all from here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!