Is it a bird? Is it a…?

The little abandoned chick we took in earlier in the week (see ‘Chick Delivery’, below) has now been warm and safe in the brooder for two and a half days. Life’s so fragile at this stage in the young bird’s life that we can’t assume he’ll survive what must have been a pretty traumatic entry into the world (was he dropped by an owl on a fly-past?), but he’s showing all the signs of a born survivor – and despite his best attempts even James has become rather attached to the little fluffy fella.

A rare still moment

Every time we open the dining room door (which displays an assortment of neon-coloured Post It notes bearing warnings such as KEEP DOOR SHUT and CHICK ALERT lest Beau the Bengal should sneak in and help himself to a tiny poultry morsel), it’s a relief to hear our minuscule charge scratching about on the corrugated cardboard floor and cheeping quite happily to himself. He seems to be enjoying his spacious new home which is built to accommodate up to 20 chicks – in fact, he’s whizzing about at such a speed that I’m beginning to wonder if he’s 100% chicken. And my, what long legs he has. I don’t remember any of the chicks from the 2010 batch being quite so speedy or having a fine, lengthy pair of pins. He travels at such an astonishing speed that when I tried to video him this morning, all I was left with was a blur on screen and a load of chick crumb dust in his wake. So to confirm his poultry features: he has a short beak (tick), tiny stubby wings (tick), a stripey fluffy covering like the Araucana chicks (tick). But on the other hand, lankiness and blinding speed.

Enjoying some more boiled egg in his deluxe pad

Hmm. I need some help identifying him – can any of those henkeepers/ornithologists out there help? Check out the chick flick at

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=200405496668914&saved

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