The chicks are becoming a lot less hand shy than at the beginning of the week. They no longer huddle in the far corner when I reach in to transfer from their brooder to the temporary holding box for the twice-daily cleanings of the brooder. I can now hold my hand at floor-level and they'll come over and hop on for the ride.
While changing out their cage this evening, one of the chicks hopped up on my forearm and just perched there, checking out the room, sizing me up and down... just hanging out. For the first time, I was able to appreciate just how delicate featured she is: the fuzzy head, her black-and-white striped plumage coming in, her curious swiveling of her head as she scoped things out.
Given how easily she perched, I'm thinking it might be time to put in something for them to roost on besides the food dispenser, especially if they're as old as I'm thinking they are.
I suspect our chicks might be older than the folks at Half Moon Bay Food & Fuel let on... pictures I've seen of Barred Rock chicks show smaller specimens at 9 days than our girls were when we brought them home. I'm thinking we might be closer to 3.5 weeks than the supposed two weeks we're coming up on per the sellers.
I've found that Mississippi State has some great (but dry) material on how to raise healthy chickens, and as I discover other worthy resources, I'll be sure to share them here.