Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Are You My Mother?
Last Sunday my two neighbors, Tanya and Bill, my housemate, Charlie, Paul and I built a chicken run for our chickens. We started with a flock of 23. We have 5 now. Coyotes. Do not get me started. My free ranging days are over. Back in March the chicks arrived from the post office just 48 hours old. They can survive fine without food and water for the the first few days after hatching. Opening that box and having the sweet little fluff balls ask "Are you my mother?" is powerful and humbling. Dip each tiny beak in water, feed and then set them under a heat lamp at 90-95 degrees. The frightening ordeal of traveling in that ventilated box for a few days can cause something called pasting. Yup, that means daily washing each chick's bum with warm water and q-tips. So there's a lotta love getting the chicken to adulthood. And giggles. As those personalities and sex traits emerge, pecking order and a rooster's first attempt at crowing on the tiniest scale is the best after dinner entertainment. And that's where I've been every night for the last few hanging out with the girls in their new run. Technically they aren't all girls, 3 hens and 2 roosters. But did you ever meet a rooster who couldn't use just being put in his place a little? Eggs are coming any day now.

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