Wednesday, May 7, 2014


You think we would be used to this by now.

An early morning phone call "I have peepies for you" from our mail carrier.

A few hours later, 3 toots of the horn to notify us the delivery is here. Day old chicks into the brooder, lights on, water, feed and grit ready, and the little balls of fluff commence growing.

For the laying hens we wait what feels like forever. They need full feathers before they will do well outside, they need to be large enough in size that they move with the pen and don't just pop out of the back.

And when we make the shift...from the brooder that has not had a light for a while, that has gotten more on the funky side than we prefer...and transport the birds to an outdoor, mobile pen it is like magic. The baby hens start scratching in the ground. They break off blades of grass and eat them right up. They take dust baths. They jump up on the roost.

How do they know?

They just know to do these things, without instruction or example. It just tickles us each time we see this transformation. They will squawk and scream as we catch and relocate them from brooder to field pen.  It sounds like a few seconds of trauma. And then happy sounds. A low murmur of contended purring happens. 

Each time we marvel at the immediate transformation. From the now crowded indoor  brooder to the space of the field pen the birds just jump into action and do what birds do. Astonishing every time.

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