Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Checking in with the chicks

Checking in with the chicks
April 8, 2010 Mary Jo

I’ve got my hands full, keeping these little ones safe from their two very exuberant, not-at-all secret admirers.  Thank Mother Nature for equipping them with an automatic alarming device – whenever an intruder is in their midst, the volume of the cheeping goes way up, alerting me immediately.  Multiple times yesterday I rushed to their defense, to find an almost-one year old Boy resting his head on the side of the tub, watching them contentedly.  He can’t reach them, thankfully, but wastes no time in scurrying inside if he spots the door ajar.  One of the many Old House Quirks we enjoy daily is that particular door which doesn’t quite shut without employing the (laborious) secret handshake.

But The Girl is much more crafty.  She understands the situation perfectly:  a chick is to put into something small.  Only hours after their arrival, amidst the rushing here and there, I came back into the house to catch her red-handed.  She froze, her arm frozen halfway inside a rubber work boot, knowing full well that she was in big trouble.  I rescued the boot and its 4 chick inhabitants swiftly, biting my cheek til near bleeding to keep from laughing.  And yesterday, upon taking out two chicks for some sanctioned play time, she quickly ran off to put one chick into Errol’s toy car, then in the back of a wooden truck, then into the cup in the photo above. They’re cute, all right, but even better placed into something small.

There are these two very compelling reasons to get the chicks out of the bathtub and into their growing house as soon as possible.  Really, though, those are secondary.  More pressing is their need for space.  Every moment that passes finds them growing, which is great for their eventual destination of the freezer, but I estimate that they’ll grow out of that bathtub space in about 10 minutes.  So there’s that, the practical urgency to get them out of my bathroom, but the most compelling reason of all is way more personal.  My whole house smells like chicken.  From the moment you walk in the front door, the smell hits you, a heady mix of wood shavings and feed and….chickens, amplified by the round-the-clock heat lamp.  My house smells like chicken.

Construction has been stalled by the monotonous, unrelenting two days of rain which overnight turned to snow.  The weather report that just landed in my email’s inbox predicted another cold, dreary day but promised warm sunny weather tomorrow.  I hope we can all make it that long without an all-out chicken crisis of one kind or another.

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