Our two gray mamas and their chicks are out of the henhouse and in the big wide world now. Both Dovey and her two cockerel chicks and Rosewitha, her sister, with Baby Rambo and her two pullet chicks are doing fine. Dovey had the bigger challenge... we put her on the floor of the henhouse, where she sheparded her two gray chicks around for four days, keeping them safe from the roosters and the big hens. Then, Friday afternoon, I came home to find them in the henyard, still watched over by mama, but doing fine. They have learned to follow her up the ramp into the henhouse at dusk, and to roost in one of the nest boxes, since they can't figure out how to make it all the way to the rafters where Mama sleeps. Despite some plaintive cheeping, she is slowly cutting loose of the chicks and letting them learn on their own, though she does keep track of them during the day.
Rosewitha and her bigger three were finally realeased from the dog pen where they have been living this last month... and they are doing very well. Baby Rambo is brave and runs around checking everything out, though he stays where he can hear Mama. When we moved here to Calamity Acres, we had a Japanese bantam rooster, Fred, who is the grandfather and great-grandsire of the current black and white roosters. Fred was a gentle boy who was known for taking care of all the little chicks... he shepherded them as gently as their mamas did. Fred was one we lost in the savage dog attack in March a year ago. He has stamped his descendents though, because Two, one of last year's grandsons, is sticking right with Rosewitha and the babies. Of course, he may have ulterior motives... see pictures above.