Last week I saw Bye Bye Birdie at the Morrison Center for Music Week, then you might recall that Mylah called my five baby chicks “Birdie” in the post called More Chicky Love. Well, birdies went bye-bye today. A nice couple with several acres and lots of chickens (who have a really nice neighbor that told me about them — thanks Elaine!) agreed to let them come live there where they can now run, skip, jump, and fly all they want. It was bitter-sweet for me (more sweet than bitter). Silly how a person can get attached to a chicken — come on — we eat chickens after all … but if I keep them here any longer my husband may eat them and I may never eat chicken again! And so, it was time. Really, really time. As I was tending to them Monday morning before work one flew up on the water bottle then up on the edge of the Rubbermaid then back to the bottom. I-YI-YI! When I wrote that to my daughter she wrote back “So they’re getting wings and starting to leave the nest? … looks like you’ll be ’empty nesters’ again soon!” 🙂 Funny girl. Luckily they never did it again and it’s been a fascinating two-weeks watching a baby fuzz ball turn into 4-8 times it’s size with feathers instead of fuzz, holes where ears would be, and the built-in instinctiveness to lay low and be quiet when we’ve allowed our cat and dog around them. To take that further, our dog is now on “bird crack” … she doesn’t mind as well and when we can’t find her, she is lying outside my hobby room door whimpering for what she is instinctively born with (she is a bird dog after all). Who’s stupid idea was it to introduce them anyway? Oh yea, now I remember. Mine.
Here they are at two days old. All yellow, soft and fuzzy. Three of one breed were bigger and lighter, and the other two smaller and darker. So cute.
And here they are on Easter at 5 days old with my niece’s twin girls, Eva and Emma, now eight. You can see how the chicks are getting their wing feathers already. The girls loved them.
This picture shows the chicks better, but I had to break the news to MJ that “one of these days the baby chicks are going bye-bye to a big farm.” “Bye-bye???”
“Bye bye????? Nooooooooo, GRAMMA! Tell me it isn’t so!”
(Okay, confession time … he didn’t really say that — come on, the kid is only a year-and-a-half, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want.)
* * * * * * * *
Below they are exactly two weeks old — moving day. These first two pictures are of the little two — still pretty chick-like looking and kinda cute, don’t you think.
And then there’s the larger breed … Big Ben, Benny, and Soul Sista … looking … well … looking chicken-like and not so cute. As they lose their chicken fuzz, they get their feathers showing the pink skin underneath. And check out those chicken legs!
And now, here’s their new home … a full three-room condo coop with all the amenities — roosting poles, nesting boxes, and outside kennel. When we got there, the homeowner opened the gate, called out the older hens (the toddlers had their own accommodations), and one by one they started following her out of the kennel onto the property to scratch about as they pleased. Loved it. Loved. It.
There were so many varieties of chickens and each so unique in their own way and really very pretty. There must have been 50-70 chickens either inside the coop or out, and no, they don’t eat them.
There weren’t just chickens, but Tony the llama and some fainting goats as well — yes, fainting goats and the owner demonstrated it by running after them. One stiffened up, and rolled right onto it’s side with legs straight out stiff as a board. (Is that the same as cow tipping?) He then picked it up and it was all better. The goats and Tony ate Animal Crackers in the shape of animals which I found oddly funny. The owner held one in his teeth and Tony came up and gently removed it. I liked these people! I’m quite sure that the baby chicks will like them too. In no time at all my chicks are going to be saying … “Mary? Mary who?”
As if taking my chicks weren’t enough, I got a dozen eggs out of the deal. Have you ever seen such pretty eggs? They look like they could have been dyed as Easter eggs. To think my chicks will be giving gifts like this in 3-4 months is pretty incredible.
As a matter of fact, I’m thinking I might do this again next year and turn our shed into a chicken coop. I’m sure Mike can find another space for the lawn mower and tools (right honey).