The Chicken Chronicles sounds so much better than The Cancer Chronicles right?
I’ve been thinking lately about how strange it must be to be a baby chick. Like how each of my baby chicks woke up one day in a shelled cocoon and had to peck their way out…no idea what was waiting on the other side. How do they even know to start pecking their way out, that there is something else on the other side?
When my chicks hatched, they were thrown together into a little instant family. A bantam grab bag. A diverse little collective of baby chicks. Brett rolls his eyes whenever I wonder aloud if they think about their mothers. Of course I tell them all the time that I’m their mother, just in case they are curious. They are curious little things…they sat and watched me all day as I worked in the yard and painted today:
I finished moving a bunch of rock and wood that had been store behind the depot today, and planted some ground cover. Then I painted the last remaining wall of the depot:
After being outside for the whole day the chicks came back inside exhausted and just collapsed into a big heap. It’s hard work being out in the big, scary, delightful world! You should have seen them when I dropped their first earthworm through the chicken wire! It was insanity. I love that they all sleep together like this. The little Barred Rocks mess up the sequence every time though. Seriously how hard is it to get front-back-front-back right?
Baby chicks are great entertainment. They have this endearing little secret peeping language. If I sneak in on them when they are sleeping one is bound to notice and one tiny little “eep” alerts them all immediately that they are being watched.
I love throwing a new treat into their box each night..one chick usually makes a high pitched trilled “eep” and they all freeze. They just stand and stare at the foreign object for a few minutes (usually the top of a strawberry or a piece of lettuce). Then one of the chicks (always one of the Barred Rocks) gets the courage to go up and peck at it. When the others realize it’s something edible all hell breaks loose and soon they are all running around like crazy chickens with tiny pieces of treat in their mouths. And they “peep” while they run, like they can’t contain their excitement. They act like they think they have picked up the last piece of food on earth.
And they are always curious about my phone when I take a photo. Sunny, one of the Buff Brahmas, always walks around to the screen side and pecks at the image:
Sunny also lets me scratch her chest…in fact she walks up and practically says: please scratch my chest. I never thought I’d feel so flattered that a chicken would show interest in me.
Other breaking baby chick news:
-The chicks’ bedding was changed to pine shavings. I’d been using paper towels and it worked great for a while until they started shredding them. I think they like the pine shavings. They especially like watching me clean the pine shavings out from their water three times a day. A bunch of attention seekers they are:
-Plump likes to sit on top of the waterer and the inevitable happened: Plump pooped on FoShizzle’s head as she took a drink. The other chicks kept pecking at Fo’s dirty head so I had to give her a bath. She hated every minute of it.
-FoShizzle stole M-LO’s tomato and M-LO didn’t even notice and ate a wood shaving instead:
-M-LO and I had a heart to heart. She’s my favorite of all the chicks. I am already heartbroken that I will most likely outlive her and have to go through the loss of her one day. It’s too painful to think about:
-I did try to move the chicks out to the garage the other day…but by nightfall they were back in our laundry room. They were outside in the little makeshift chicken tractor that I made them and two crows were stalking them. I think that spooked me a little. And then my friend Melissa (Bless this Mess) lost one of her little chicks to a falcon the same day, it somehow got in the pen with them, and it was so heartbreaking. Even though our chicks were in the garage I was afraid a snake or something else might make its way in somehow. For now they’ll stay in our laundry room, at least until the new chicken coop is 100% secure from every type of predator I can think of. We are getting close. We’ve been stretching hardware cloth for days:
-Max was interested in the chicks at first but his interest has dwindled. I’m not letting them get too close for right now. He’s been a good boy and just sits at a distance and watches them for a few moments before following me around the yard again. I paid him in treats to pose for this shot:
I hope they like living here. They seem content, but I can tell they are getting antsy to see the outside world. Brett walked in the laundry room the other morning and one of the chicks was sitting on top of the box edge, as if she was getting ready to fly the coop. FoShizzle has flown up onto my phone a few times hoping for a ride:
I’d love to give them more freedom soon. While I wait for them to grow a little more I’ve been working on the coop….even decorating it with some hand painted signage. I’m sure it’s the first thing they’ll notice when they move in:
The biggest milestone was that we cut the door to the depot the other day that will eventually be their entrance to the chicken run:
I can’t wait to make the little ramp for them. Every day I asks Brett when he gets home from work: Should we make the ramp today? He says: We will make it soon. Yes, I am way too excited about seeing chickens walking up a ramp. I keep trying to think of a little sign to hang above the door…that has to do with a train depot. Arrivals? Departures? Ticketing? I need something cute. Because my baby chicks can read you know….
Funny, our anniversary is coming up…fifteen years.
Brett: Don’t get me anything for our anniversary. I don’t need a thing.
Me: Okay, please don’t get me anything for our anniversary either.
Me: Unless it’s another baby chicken. I could use a few baby silkie chicks. They would be the perfect addition don’t you think?