Tuesday, April 14, 2009
LIFE IN THE LOCAL LANE
They were out — but would be getting in three-hundred new chicks the following Thursday at noon. My friend, Erica, offered, nay, insisted she drive me there come 11:30 on the appointed day assuring our being the second in line.
With six beautiful, week old Araucana chicks in a small cardboard box we returned to the Dawgranch to the delight of the throng Asenath, Finn, Timothy, David, Hank, Amelia, Ella, Erica, Priest and I formed for four entranced hours as they adventured o'er the 6'x4', chicken wire and bird net caged landscape of lush winter rye lawn and alfalfa straw discovering the feeder and sugar water.
Araucanas are originally a breed of chicken from South America made famous for their "Easter Eggs" of purple or blue eggs and although mixed pretty throughly in the Americanization process still retain their resemblance to game birds as adults. The variation in the markings of the chicks are so distinct that their adoring fans had given them all names within hours of their arrival — some of them were renamed multiply until settling on the names below.
Between the photographing of the pictures above and below lie the "times that try men's soul." At least mine. This morning I arose for the last time being fraught with the anxiety of having two of the babies torn out of their cage by the powerful jaws of Donna's oldest, most powerful dog and a third being mightily slimed by the time our periodic visits that first evening revealed the atrocity. Cheepmonk and Prairy Chicken were dead and Kiwi held out against her injuries until sometime before dawn this morning. After burying her I took this next photo of the vegetable and chicken gardens as the first official spring presentation of 2009 potential.
Now raised to the upper level of the coop, the survivors, Shiva, Black Jack and the Nameless One, grow wing feathers and work out code pecking at the floor as they become more like they're gonna be than they were before. This coming Thursday, Erica will drive me to the chick gettin' place once again and we will bring home three more, week younger chicks and hope for the best.