We got baby chicks on Wednesday last week. I didn’t mean to. It was an impulse buy. I fell for it. Not a candy bar, not a new shirt or shoes. No. Baby chicks. I really didn’t mean to. I had already ordered our chicks for this spring. 16 are scheduled to arrive in the mail next week. I went in to the feed store to get supplies for them, organic chick starter feed, and the little metal feeder with two rows of holes down the sides, the watering dish that you screw a canning jar into. I needed pine shavings for bedding and an extra red light bulb for our heat lamp. I didn’t need baby chicks. But then there they were of course, peeping away in the troughs in the feed store, day-old and adorable as ever. And they had two varieties that I had wanted and not been able to get in my other order. So I did it. I brought home four in a little cardboard lunchbox. Two Araucanas and two Bard Rocks. Four little balls of fuzz, not even a trace of feathers yet. So tiny they fit in the very palm of your hand and you can imagine that they would fit right back inside the eggshell if you folded them up just right. We put them in a cardboard box in my bedroom, with the new feeder and watering dish that I’d bought for the other chicks, and we spent the evening watching them and giggling as they toddled around in their new space, tripping over each other, checking out their food and water, stretching out one leg and then the other behind them, toppling over, and falling asleep every 30 seconds, face down into the pine shavings.
They are a week old now and still as adorable as ever. We have named the Sleepy, Itchy, Dotty, and Hanky, although those are subject to change as their personalities develop. They are happily peeping away in their cardboard box, and I still need to go back to the feed store to get a watering dish and feeder for the other chicks, before they arrive in the mail next week.