April 4, 2008

The ‘Awww’ factor

Posted in photography tagged , , , , , , , at 4:57 pm by czygyny

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There are few things cuter and more endearing than baby chicks! Perhaps this is why we came home with six little fluff balls, instead of fencing material, when we went to the Tractor Supply Store, yesterday.

Of course it just didn’t stop at the chicks, then came the 25 lb. sack of feed, a waterer and feeder. $29.95 out the door, thank you. I ‘really’ need six more animals to care for! *sigh* 

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These chicks are bantam chicks. They are miniature chickens that can lay blue, green or brown eggs. Tiny little eggs, sort of a 3 to 1 ratio for an omelet. But, these chickens are an amiable, friendly and hardy breed.

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These chicks are ‘straight-run’, which means a 50/50 ratio of male and female. I am hoping for more girls than boys! Too many roosters are trouble, and we have a big black one, already. And, eating them would be too much trouble for such a small meal. Yes, I could kill and eat them, if I had to, but they end up being too much of a pet.

 

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They are temporarily living in a box with a heat-lamp on my kitchen counter. I have had guinea pigs in the bathtub, cows in the swimming pool, and sheep in my car, so I guess it is business as usual for me. (I had a hummingbird in my freezer, once, but that is a story for another day).

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Part of the joy of raising chicks, especially mixed colors like this, is waiting to see how they’ll look when they’re mature. There is no telling what we’ll end up with.

The last time I raised chicks I started with 25 straight-run Aracaunas. They can lay pink, brown, green and blue eggs, too, but full sized. I used to sit on the bales of hay, early in the morning, and sing to my chickens while I fed them. They would sit on my knees and sometimes try to get on my shoulder, but since they ‘drop the goods’ wherever they are, I stopped the ‘shoulder thing’ very quickly! Sadly, only one of those chickens remains, Ol’ Rusty, and the rooster, Victor, son of another hen.

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Now, tell me, don’t lie, don’t you just want to pick those little fuzzy, puffy chicks up in your hands and just cuddle them? You know you want to do it!

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I had one hen from that earlier batch I called ‘Lucille’ and would sing a corny country-western song to her every morning

“You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.

Four hungry children and a crop in the field.

I’ve had some sad times, lived through some bad times, but this time your hurtin’ won’t heal.

You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille!”

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It never failed to make me smile, even if I was sitting there in tears, which I often was at that time. It was during the last awful years of my marriage, when I was weary, frightened and full of anxiety, everything was spiraling out of control. Ah, but that too, is another story for another time. Now, I choose to remember the silly songs with the sun streaming low through the barn door,  the narrow beam of morning light swirled with golden dust motes, chickens milling around my feet, the sweet smell of hay and a hope for tomorrow.

I am quite sure one of my new chickens will be called ‘Lucille’.

I have a silly song to sing to her.

 

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1 Comment »

  1. victoriess said,

    Awwww! Your chicks are adorable. I’m a 7th grade science teacher and we’re doing a unit on “life cycles” right now. I picked up eggs today and hopefully in 21 days we’ll have some chicks too!


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