Peck, peck, peck
On the warm, brown egg.
Out comes a neck.
Out comes a leg.
How does a chick.
Who's not been about,
Discover the trick
Of how to get out?
If you have been reading my blog for long, you'll know that I grew up on a farm. A Century Farm to be exact. By the time, my parents took over much of the farming duties, the harvesting was down to mainly hay, and the Livestock was strictly cattle. My parents, however, enjoyed adding a few different animals to the mix every now and again to give us kids some fun farming experiences.
One of these types of animals were chickens. My parents have had chickens now for more than 20 years on the farm. Usually no more than 12 at a time, and more often than not, NO ROOSTERS. We are not fond of the crowing, and the tendency to "rule the roost" that comes along with the rooster. We are, however, entirely interested in the eggs the hens produce. We are never in need of eggs. In fact, during many times of year, my mother yields over 3 dozen a week. We love fresh chicken eggs.
As a child, I have no real FOND memories of the chickens. I have no real HORRIBLE memories of the chickens either. They are just chickens.....and they don't really excite me. They weren't a great deal of work to take care of, but they certainly were an added chore. Each day, I had to feed them, collect the eggs, and in certain times of year open up the coop for them to wander, and close up the coop at night. Each night, right before bedtime, my dad would ask me if I had remembered to closed up the coop. If I had forgotten I'd have to truck down to the coop in the pitch black and close it up. I am not generally afraid of the dark, but I am also not a huge fan of walking alone in the dark outside either. For some crazy,watched to many scary movies, reason flashlights seem to make it all the freakier to me. Usually, I'd keep myself composed all the way down to the coop, and while I closed it up, but suddenly the fear would overtake me, and I run like a bat out of hell all the way back to the house. It is not clear what exactly I thought was going to get me, but that didn't seem to matter, at the time.
As a parent, I have enjoyed seeing my little Sugar Bear experience chickens. Since she was old enough to take a trip out to the chickens with Papa or Grandma, she has been enthralled. Once she was able to walk, she set out for the chicken coop whenever the opportunity arose. She was indeed the resident chicken chaser. As her cousins held back, she ran forth and tried in earnest to catch one. She had no fear, and little could detour her. What fun! (Sugar Bear is 15 months in these chicken chasing photos)
As an adult, I really appreciate the fresh farm eggs I get once a month or so from my parents. However, over the winter, some sort of animal figured out how to get into their coop, and within 5 days killed them all. At a time where we are seeing incredibly high prices on eggs, we were suddenly out of our free supply. Darn it!
Lucky for us, the other day, while my mother was in town, the baby chick deliveries started to come in. She purchased 12 new baby chicks. Even luckier, my mom was in town to pick up Miss Sugar Bear for a 4 day stay on the farm. Sugar Bear had the fun job of sitting next to the box of chicks all the way to Grandma's house. I've been told that she noted every few minutes just how noisy they were. I don't envy anyone in that car the hour long ride home.
Every time, I'd call to check up on her while she was at the farm, Sugar would insist on "showing" me the baby chicks. While holding the phone downin the box she kept saying, "They are supposed to be yellow, but grandma bought black!" If you haven't noticed, most photos of baby chicks are of the really fluffy yellow variety. She was a tad disappointed to see that they were black when she first peered into the box.
When I finally arrived to gather up my Sugar, and take her home, she was bursting at the seams to show me her newest obsession. It was a beautiful day, so we gathered them up to let them get some sun. Sugar Bear was thrilled to help carry the box, and deposit them in her swimming pool. I was a bit excited to have a reasonably nice opportunity to take some photos. THAT NEVER HAPPENS! tee hee......Just kidding.
Sugar Bear enjoyed trying to catch the little chickies, and loved touching their beaks. I think she was happy to finally get the opportunity to really touch and hold them, since the adult chickens were rarely so obliging. We spent some time talking about being gentle, and easy, as baby chicks are quite fragile. There were times I felt she just wanted to love them to death.
In the end, I was thrilled that Sugar had the opportunity to again experience another piece of life on the farm. The baby chicks are entirely different than the adult ones she had been chasing since she could walk. I only wish she could be there more as they grow, so that the chickens would become accustom to her, and let her pet them when they are older. THAT would make her day....and make for some wonderful photos. :)