Chick stuff

The kid, as can be expected, is beside herself with the new chicks.

Their first night, after feeding them, I watched the chicks for quite a while. So much about this “slow life” on the farm is doing just this: stopping and really looking at things. Of course, I am quite sure I had a goofy look on my face. Like all infants that are truly yours, you really think they’re the most special, most adorable and most clever things to ever grace this planet. Thus, my grin.

Unlike mammalian babies, the little chicks are pretty self-sufficient from their first days out of their shells. These little things already were exhibiting the particular poultry trait of pecking. I had just placed a small bowl of mooshed-up hard-boiled egg yolk (think what their diet was pre-emergence and you see this makes some sense) and I stood back and watched the fun begin. Once one chick starts pecking, the others (all 25) immediately become interested. So, that first chick picks up a large-ish piece, takes it slightly away from the bowl, and realizes s/he has 5 siblings chasing its find! So it runs away, and the others give chase, taking nibbles as they go. The other 20 have discovered the bowl. All those little heads pecking away. How fun.

After they eat their fill, they start preening themselves. And then they stop and fall asleep, right where they’re standing. Whew, it’s a tough job being a cute little thing!

So little they still have their egg teeth

(little bump on their beak that helps them get out of their shell)

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12 responses to “Chick stuff

  1. How’s your girl dealing with the idea that the little fluffball she’s holding is food? I’m continually amazed by how well my kids get it, and are okay with it. I have clear memories of when I first understood that the chicken on my plate came from a real live chicken. I was freaked out, and I was much older than my kids are when I had that realization.

  2. Love reading about the chicks, El. I was thinking about getting some meat chickens myself (we already have layers), but I’m not sure how that would work out. See, when my girlfriend had our daughter, after about a year in Detroit we moved to Lansing to live with her parents (so we could save for a house, get free babysitting and let them see more of their only grandchild). Now, her mother –who insists she only likes “formal gardens”– has been pretty game about letting me take over the backyard; we have hens, I’ve dug up large chunks of lawn for gardening, and she’s only complained a little bit. But I’m not sure how she’d react to, “Do you mind if I get another 20 chickens, then slaughter them after 3 months?”

    Thanks for blogging about this.

  3. i love reading about chicks! my own AND everyone else’s! the expressions on your daughter’s face are priceless!

  4. Angie: Yep, she knows. She goes back and forth with the whole thing, but her favorite meat is…chicken! I think she understands the implications. Plus, when these guys go in the freezer, she’ll have new chicks and turkeys to play with so she considers it a win-win. You can’t be a stranger to death here on the farm!!

    Rob, yeah, hah! I can see how your MIL* could have some issues about 20 non-yard birds running around her back yard. But aren’t grandparents the greatest invention ever? We moved back here from MN to be nearer my mom, and then Tom’s parents moved to the next town over from Vermont! Very spoiled grandkid we’ve got here…

    *or whatever you’d call her, like Baby Grandma

  5. Jayedee: you snuck in there!! Yep, and I am quite sure my expression while looking at them was just as hilarious…

  6. More photos, please!!

    Also, metaphysical question: Why are chicks and ducklings yellow? So we’ll sigh.

  7. simply adorable.

    it seems to me that a lot of the shock kids have over meat coming from animals is connected to their age – the longer they’ve been thinking it’s all about the supermarket, the more challenging the shock when they learn. Too, death means different things to a 3 yr old, a 5 yr old, a 7 yr old.

  8. That is so cute! who could resist them, child or adult. They are adorable.

  9. That photo makes me miss my tiny kids, who are grown and living far away. Now I’ll have to adopt some peeps to cheer me up.

  10. Oh, your chicks are so cute, too! I had to explain the stopping right where you are and sleeping thing to my daughter who kept running in to tell me she thought something was terribly wrong with a chick! They do look pretty pathetic when they sleep… Have fun with yours!

  11. CC: Hwah!! I am getting from the kid that she doesn’t want me to kill them. Then I ask her: M, what’s your favorite meat? (Okay, so I am a mean mom.) But really, I tell her that they don’t stay cute for long. She won’t want 4-week old chicks on her lap.

    Hayden, yep, I think that death is a shifting concept whatever age you are. I am in my early 40s, so death is something I attribute to things like these lovely roasting birds, and not, say, my own self! But it is interesting: one of the reason our kid was moved up from one program to another at school was because she had asked me why our dog had to die (and then she explained it to her teachers why). She was 2.5 at the time. I don’t think she was parroting: it was a pretty traumatic event in the family.

    Matron! Hey! I have been reading your blog (and, well, lurking on your blog) for about forever! So I am glad you stopped by and said hi.

    Pamela, or just keep coming back here for cute chick pics? (Now tell me I am not going to get some strange hits for that statement.) Well, I am a foot soldier in the Chicken Revolution, so I should rather say Get You Some More Chickens, Lady! and join in….

    Amber! Isn’t it great? Until, of course, they get so big their dust coats the house…but I am so glad your kids are really loving the new additions to your family. You have a great mix. I do hope, of course, they’re all girls….

  12. Very cute. They get big so fast. And yeah, she totally won’t want a 4 week old chick in her hand.

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