A week after Christmas, I drove to the post office to pick up a box of live baby chicks.
They were noisily cheeping the entire two-minute drive back home, and I noticed a few tiny beaks poking through the holes of the box.
I couldn't help but jokingly think that I was safe from the monsters. After all, I had my own bird box with me!
Really, I should thank my dad, because he finally caved and bought my mom chickens and built a coop for her Christmas gift. Now that my family was back at work and in school, it was up to me to raise these twelve little guys.
When I got home, I placed a bin full of newspapers, shavings, food, and water in front of the stove. I set our oven temperature to 350 and left it open so that the bin would heat up. The only thing I knew at that point was to keep the chicks warm!
After about an hour, I was completely over the cuteness of their chirps. I was trying to do some work, but they kept chirping as loud as chicken-ly possible.
I added a lamp (no LED bulb) to emit heat and draped a towel over half of the bin. Their cheeps soon became normal twittering, and I knew I had already learned a trick of the trade. Perhaps I was born to be a chicken farmer?!
Over the next few days, we lost three chicks, BUT IT WASN'T ON MY WATCH. During the weekend, my mom and I took turns checking on the chicks, and sure enough, some didn't survive. :(
However, I learned that we had in fact ordered only 10 chicks, and Tractor Supply had shipped 12 because a few chicks usually don't survive the trip. What we had experienced was simply the aftermath of the chick's unfortunate travel experience.
We then upgraded the chick survivors to a bigger bin and gave them daily time to run around while soaking in the sun. My favorite memory during this time was when one of the chicks hopped onto my lap while I was supervising them while sitting in the grass. I cradled him in my hands and petted the little guy. Much to my surprise, he leaned back and nearly toppled over as he drifted off into sleep. I. Am. A. Chicken. Whisperer.
Although it wasn't fun to clean their bin and spend time changing the temperature, a part of me misses the chicks now that I'm back at school.
Before I left, my family and I named a few of the chicks, but my personal favorite is the little one who has a limp. We named her "Eileen." ;)
Now, I just need to talk my mom into letting us name two of them Olympia and John!