Tag Archives: chicks

Tokens of ourselves

I was deep in the middle of a dream early this morning when I sensed, vaguely, a familiar heaviness on the bed. Then, the sleep-obliterating voice of my black cat Spot. “Me,” he said. “Ow.” He had a point. It was past 7 a.m., and I would usually have been up for some time. But […]


          You were supposed to be a girl Manitou Springs, Colorado July 13, 2015    

Chickhood: Flight

One of the delights of raising chicks is witnessing that phase of their young lives in which they realize they have wings, and can use them.  They discover they can do what many of us dreamed as children: They can fly. Wings feather and fill early in a bird’s development, so that by the time chickens have reached the […]

Chickhood: Up and out

Thursday marked dual milestones in the lives of my four little chickens, who decided it was time to not only venture outside the coop during the day, but to roost at night. The first experience was all excitement and wonder. Impelled by the uncontainable energy of youth, they ran about the run and peered at the yard beyond.  […]

The first monkey

My six-week-old Americana chick crowed yesterday, in the way of young cockerels everywhere: an amputated, creaky rasp. It would be a comic sound were it not also confirmation that I need to find little Taz a good home. It’s a familiar challenge, one I’ve had to undertake with every group of chicks I’ve raised. All were […]

Chickhood: That awkward phase

In the scant four weeks of their little lives, my wee ones have grown from cute downy chicks into that sixth-grade school photo most of us would rather forget: While their appearance is quickly and radically changing, their temperaments have remained much as first observed. My busy, bossy  Americana, now dubbed Taz (for the Tasmanian […]


It drizzled through the night here, and I awakened to dappled puddles in the driveway as light showers continued. My hens understood immediately the significance of sustained rain — earthworms! — and charged into the cool, damp yard to see what had surfaced for breakfast:   Meanwhile, my week-old chicks were honing their own scratching […]

Chickhood: Proxy hen

In the matter of babies, things are going well when the wee ones grow stronger and more capable daily, while their mother, eroded by sleeplessness and beset by a cavalcade of legitimate and fantastic worries, becomes increasingly bedraggled. Things are going well. I passed half the night crumpled on a love seat near the brooder, alternately dozing […]

Chickhood: First day home


Chickhood: Prologue

The four baby chicks who will join my flock Thursday are having a momentous day, though they are still folded inside their eggs at a Missouri hatchery.  Within the incubator, they are responding to light; they are opening and closing their eyes, clapping their tiny beaks, vocalizing. They are moving into hatching position. Soon, they will […]