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It’s Monday morning, that must mean it’s time for chicken pictures.

Everyone needs something cheerful on Monday morning.

Let us start with a good portrait of Mad Mel the Magnificent!
Mad Mel the Magnificent appears to be a big poof of blue-grey feathers with a featherless chicken neck sticking out of it.  The skin of his neck is purplish red, his wattles and walnut comb are a deep, deep scarlet and his dangling earlobes are white.  His beak and eye are jet black.  A poof of blue-grey feathers decorates the very top of his head.
He is still wooing the girl chickens, who find him slightly frightening.

Here is wee Merlin, the Old English Game banty, being all friendly. He (all baby chickens are assumed “he” until they lay me an egg) was making googly eyes at me so I offered him my hand to perch on; before I knew it he’d gone right up my arm.
A tiny white chicken with soft brown stripes across his breast peers at the camera from his perch on my elbow.  Do you have any clue how hard it is to get a pic of a chicken that is on your elbow?  Anyway, he is tiny -- his body is smaller than my fist.

Here’s Galahad, Guenivere, and Arthur sunbathing together:
Galahad, a golden brown chicken whose feathers have a rim of black, lies on his side to the left of the frame, his back toward the camera but his neck craned so he can see it.  In front of him and facing the camera is Guenivere, a black hen with silvery feathers on her head and neck, resting with her stomach on the ground.  To the right of the frame is Arthur, King of Bantytown, whose coloring matches Guenivere's, more or less.  He is lying on his side in a mirror image of Galahad.

Steph asked about chicken coops but unfortunately I don’t have great pics of any right now. The big chickens live in a coop that’s about 6′ x 6′ x 15′, covered with 1/4″ x 1/4″ hardware cloth. We plan to build them an extension later this summer. Bantytown is 8′ x 8′ x 16′ and has 1/4″ x 1/4″ hardware cloth for the bottom section, and the rest is covered with chicken wire. With the seven adults in there, it’s big enough for them to separate into two miniflocks. The miniflocks can come together peaceably to eat out of the feeder or drink, but they tend to hang out separately for preening, foraging, and napping. Bantytown is not quite complete, they have a Very Nice House coming, hopefully this week, which we will assemble for them to give them nest boxes, and perches and official digs. It will be outside the run, we plan on framing a “window” in the wire and attaching that to the front of the house. Bantytown also features a pile of former baby pine trees as a sight break/shelter area. There’s 4 roosters in there, and they need space and ways to get away from each other. They currently have a large rubbermaid tub lined with straw for shelter which will go away when the nice house gets here.

I do however have a pic of the grow-out pen! Daniel made this himself from scrap lumber and hardware cloth remnants, figuring it out as he went along. Currently it’s housing a 6 week old Black Copper Marans roo that I’m holding for Christine. Once she picks him up on Wednesday, we’ll move the grow-out pen into Bantytown, and then move the OEGs in there at least during the day. That will give the flock a chance to look at them, and them a chance to look at the flock, without anyone getting beaten up. It will also give the babies a chance to forage in something more interesting than shredded aspen bedding. When the OEGs are big enough to hold their own (chicken social life can be violent) then we’ll remove the grow-out pen and let them integrate with the flock.

Anyhoo, grow-out pen!
A small run with a square base that measure about 2 feet by 2 feet, but a triangular cross-section.  It's covered with hardware cloth.  At one end is a small triangular house that fits on the end of the run.

And for the finale — we haven’t gotten the roof on Bantytown yet (that’s a project for next weekend I suspect!) so here’s the view if you lie on your back amid the tiny chickens and look up:
Layers upon layers of oak leaves, high above the camera, with the sun shining down through them, creating a million shades of green.

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