I am so excited to tell you that our girls have arrived. Four fluffy baby chicks, the new addition to our family. I may have already told some of you about them but for those who haven’t heard we’re taking a crack at raising chickens. We are thrilled that they’re finally here.
The day-old chicks came in the post office yesterday, all twenty-five of them huddled together inside a cardboard box shipped all the way from the Murray McMurray in Iowa. We kept four — a mixed flock of two Rhode Island Reds, one Buff Orpington, and one Silver Laced Wyandotte — and delivered the rest to our friends at Soul Food Farm in Vacaville. We barely slept through their first night but I think the birds are settling in nicely in their new home, a brooder box Dennis crafted from pine wood and chicken wire and lined with old socks and shirts. They have their own room in our basement, which we have jazzed up with a fresh coat of sage green paint and have fitted with a camera so we can take a close watch at the girls. This is where they will stay until they are big enough for a coop, which we will build ourselves. Build ambitiously from scratch. Wish us luck.
I never realized until now that baby chicks are incredibly voracious eaters. What a huge appetite for their tiny frames! And, my goodness, they are prolific poopers! Watching them chase each other and zigzag their way in the brooder is immensely entertaining. The baby chicks are simply adorable. Pecking and peeping incessantly but not annoyingly. Tilting their fluffy heads up as they drink from the fount. Falling asleep — literally, falling asleep as their beaks fall and drop then briskly waking up from their quick nap to eat, drink, poop, and be cute all over again. Very charming, indeed.
As much as I am excited, I must admit that I am nervous. Absolutely nervous. If you don’t know me by now, let me tell you that worrying is what I do. I worry about everything. Raising chickens is a huge responsibility, for crying out loud. A commitment. For us, it is an experiment to test our compatibility with the lifestyle.
But for now, while I dream of fried eggs over rice studded with salt and sriracha, I hope the girls (we hope they’re all girls!) grow up healthy and strong. And while I’m dreaming and hoping, I might as well be entertained by our golden girls.
Rose, the Orpington. Blanche, the Wyandotte. Dorothy and Sofia, the Rhode Island Reds.