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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Old MacSugar Had a Farm

Baby Chick

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?

~Author Unknown

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. :)

26 Live It or Love It:

Michele said...

It's a beautiful post and you did well at opening up. A very loving and tender photo shoot... nice.

Megan Cobb said...

A cute chick with her cute chicks! And yes, the current measure of how good a day or an event was around is how well those pictures turn out. It's all about the pictures. Hee hee.

Joeprah said...

I am trying to decide which is more cute, the chicks, your daughter or your accompanying story. Love it all! Soo cute.

Bellevelma said...

She is one lucky little girl. Most kids only get to see baby chicks at the zoo. She is adorable and so are the little chicks!

Lindy said...

those photos are too cute! She looks like she's loving every minute of it!!!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing those old pics of Sugar chasing those chickens! I grew up having chickens (which laid brown eggs) so I know what it's like tending to them. My mom currently has one chicken left. I'm not sure they'll get more after this one goes.

I think it's wonderful that Sugar got to experience baby chicks. I have fond memories of baby chicks when I was little. She looks so happy and she seemed so gentle with them. Somehow I can't see Bug being that

Autumn said...

I love this post! Little Sugar chasing the chickens.. those are the sweetest!
My dad has had chickens for a long time now and just last week I was whining about hubby not letting me get chickens. He doesn't want to have to build me a coop!

Carolyn said...

Sigh. More lovely photos and beautiful commentary. Nicely done!

On other notes - no surpise that Sugar Bear has senstive skin... are you my long lost twin? And, I wasn't too sure about posting the "Elephant painting video" either. It does make me sad for the elephants and wonder if they're happy (unfortunately probably not), but I was so astounded and inspired by the painting I just had to post it.

Jo Beaufoix said...

That is just so fab Corey, and I bet it helped keep her happy while you were away. Hope all went well. And I love that little chick poem, it is so cute.

Misty DawnS said...

Another unbelievable precious and beautiful post. I love it!

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was, "They're black!" I guess I was under the misconception that they all start out yellow. Lovely, indeed! What a great experience for Sugar. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sugar is so lucky to have all of these farm experiences! My kids would love to visit a farm!

holly said...

queen of hearts wants her birthday party to be at the petting farm. i think you ought to have a cameo at that.

david mcmahon said...

I find great peace and solitude on farms.

That first shot is wonderful, Corey.

Deb said...

Oh how cute! Sugar looks very possessive in that second-to-last photo - I love her expression. :)

Those pictures of little Sugar running around with the chickens are so adorable - she's grown so much since then!

Anonymous said...

How adorable. What great memories for her and for you. Sugar gets cuter all the time.

AnnD said...

I loved seeing the old pics of Sugar mixed in with the new pics!

Unknown said...

OMW those are such special memories!!
I absolutely love the one of her touching the lone chick standing in the one pic.

Maude Lynn said...

That next to the last picture is SO cute!

Anonymous said...

Awww... the 'vintage Sugar' photos were so fun to see- such a cute little chicken chaser!

Beautiful series, Corey - as always!

Amy said...


tommie said...

Those are so adorable. I love the way you capture each point of your story!

Cath said...

Awww they are sooo cute! And Sugar looks like she is having so much fun!

Welcome back Corey. It's good to have you back. :0)

Julie B said...

awww, what a great post! We keep going back and forth on getting chickens, and I have to say-this post makes me want them more then ever! Just for the photo op, of course :)

Michelle said...

what a wonderful opportunity for Sugar and how neat to see the pics from her at 15 months chasing those chickens around!

Mary Ann said...

I love the pictures. Especially the older ones with Sugar in an outfit you made for her. How special. She is so lukcy to have the chicks to play with!

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