I'm the temporary mama for six baby chicks (and one grown-up, real mama chicken). Today started like all the others: I opened up their wood house just after 5:30am, did an egg-check, tossed Daisy (the mama) some seeds, refilled their food and water bowls, scraping away the chicken poop and then traipsed inside, bleary-eyed to tend to Jesse, the sweet pup. After a quick check-in on the wildly-enthusiastic-for-two-minutes-a-day-hamsters and elusive black cat, I scrounged around in the fridge for myself. I sat down with a bowl of homemade yogurt (dweeb alert!) sprinkled with AZ pecans (!), dried fruit and drizzled with honey and sighed, quietly sipping a refrigerated cup of coffee, ready to dig in. I think I may have smiled -- it's so quiet, I thought!
Now, perhaps you haven't had the experience of sharing an outdoor space with seven chickens, but silence is something that I can't imagine a chicken owner ever achieving, not even in a rainstorm. (They shriek.) I registered this fact a bit slowly, but after a few moments it sunk in -- like a brick in a lake. I clanked my spoon into the bowl, skidded my rickety chair back from the table and jogged outside. I looked under their house, underneath a protective door (think: chicken patio) and, genuinely panicked at this point, I desperately started circling the fence.
There, clustered together, the couch potatoes sat on a fence post that offers support to the very back of their home, where they were completely hidden from each window in the house and all typical spots I amble around in the backyard, too (like the trampoline and Jesse's pee spots). The chicks looked over at me, two gave me a short cluck, and then, unruffled, they shuffled around, rearranging their order -- perhaps choosing dibs for who had the best view of the fencepost. After the immediate relief wore off and subsequent grumblings subsided, I picked up my camera and snapped a few photos. A while later, I went back inside, scooted my chair back into the big table and enjoyed the yogurt bowl and cold coffee.