Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cheep Thrills

Around our little farm, you'd never know we're embarking on what's supposed to be Storm Week in northern Arizona. Oh, we've had warnings of winter storms for days now, with promise that all of the north land will be blanketed in winter white as the week progresses. (Except us - we may get some flurries but most of our action will be rain.)

On our farm, though, we're seeing signs of spring. And hearing signs, too. It's the "peep, peep, peep"ing coming from the pantry area that has us looking forward to green blades of grass and dying Easter eggs. See, our spring chicks came early this year, courtesy of my cousin and her husband, who incubated a batch of eggs over the past few weeks, resulting in 20 fluffy hatchlings making their way into the world in the midst of these chilly winter days. The cousins kept 3 and let us take home the other 17.

So, we have a deep wooden box of skittering black and yellow fluffy Peeps in our mud room, basking in the glow of the heat lamp and, blissfully, emitting very little odor. So far.

Lest you think we're simply raising the next batch of coyote bait, I should tell you that the plans for finishing the enclosed chicken run are underway, so we've even gone so far as to begin naming these little critters, with hope that they'll be living with us a good long time.

Our poultry joy isn't limited to the little cheepers, though. The day of the great turkey and rooster slaughter we brought a beautiful rooster home with us, who we've had stashed in the coop for a few weeks, keeping him safe from coyotes and stifling his urge to fly away.

Evening before last we decided we'd introduce him to our Lone Hen, who sleeps in the dog's pen and talks to us throughout the day as she wanders the yard. We herded Lone Hen down to the coop, put her inside, latched the door, then cupped our hands around our eyes to peer through the screen to see how they got along.

Umm, they got along just fine.

In fact, it took about 7 seconds after the door was shut and Lone Hen said a tentative hello for Rooster Boy to hop right on top of Lone Hen and show her why her mama made her.

And so the chicken love continues on the As-Yet-Unnamed Farm.

Love from the farm,

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