But yesterday, John came home from a trip into town, and he carried in a box that held four small grayish-black chicks. Trust me, folks, it was a surprise. Two of the dogs, like me, followed him onto the porch to check out the new family members. While John brought in the rest of the chicken goodies needed, I sat down and read through a rather detailed pamphlet about chicken care, long enough to find out some needed information about temperature, lighting, bedding, and feed and water. We fixed them a little home inside a 15 gallon bucket (more space than they've had before in their young lives), with wood chips for bedding, a wire top, and lighting to keep them warm. And this we placed inside our utility closet, safe from drafts, the cat, and the dogs... but really, it's only Cooper, our youngest pup, who is interested in the goings-on inside that bucket. After everything was situated and settled, I took photos, of course.
These little chicks are three-week-old sex-linked hybrid pullets, meaning, we've been told, that these are baby hens and no rooster is needed in the mix to produce eggs. When they're about six months old, they should start egg production. In the meantime, we've got our work cut out for us. A coop must be built, fencing must be put in, and a safe haven created. In the process, we'll get to know these cuties enough to name them. They are already responding a little to my voice, and I am getting rather attached. We'll do our best by them, you can bet on that. Here's to new relationships and a new journey! And here's to a chance at portrait paintings of our new family members!