There’s nothing more exciting than going to the coop to find that the chickens are looking a bit more like, well, chickens and a bit less like yellow puff balls or that they’ve discovered a new trick or habit, like settling up on their roost or hopping into my lap when I’m crouched down beside them. The most exciting development as of late, though, has been letting them outside. Dan finished up their fenced-in piece of the backyard, and I impatiently attempted to coax them out the makeshift door with a handful of food; I failed, but the next day, Dan reported that one had ventured just slightly outside the door, so it was a start.
That same afternoon I went out to play with them, and with a little coaxing I got them to come outside. The first was, of course, the most adventurous, hopping down the little brick steps rather quickly. The few behind her were more timid and filled the doorway, until another burst her way through them to get out. There was a fair amount wing flapping and screeching at that, and I about fell over laughing at them all.
Much like the garden, raising chickens is bringing me such a sense of joy and pride as I watch them grow. I nurtured these creatures. I managed to keep them alive when they were just terrified baby noisemakers; it’s so normal to lose one or two when you first get them, but somehow all six have gotten on just fine here. And now I’ve created some kind of relationship with them, even if it’s not necessarily as deep or friendly as with the dog or cat, though they are an “affectionate” breed and they do seem to have something like love for me.
I anxiously await the day one of them lays her first egg. I think that’s going to be the most exciting part: Going out to the coop and peering into their nests to find a delicate brown egg nestled inside. There are a few months before that happens, but until then, there’s plenty to keep me amused with these ladies around.