Editor’s Note: This is Part One of an ongoing series about theteet’s foray into the world of the chicken farmer. Descriptions are graphic.
1.) Baby chicks go mental over sugar-water.
2.) They hate the sound of a hairdryer.
I know these things because this morning, as I was getting out of the shower, Seth had arrived home from an early-morning trip to the post office with a box of 26 live baby chicks. He said something like “I’m late for work–can you–just build an … an enclosure.”
We weren’t “super prepared,” so a few hours and a couple google searches later, I learned that chicks need sugar water, ground-up corn flakes, and most importantly, a box that was at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit. i broke all the rules on all the tags on every cord in the house, and achieved said temperature with unattended heat in blanket form, in hot light bulb form and in the conventional space heater form. plus, the chicks were in sawdust. i showed maybel the fire exits before i left for work.
a few hours later, seth was in the driveway smashing one of the chick’s heads off with a sledgehammer. despite my best attempts at motherhennness, turns out that some of the chicks get sick and die after they are born, no matter what.
wasn’t anything i did, it appears, but this evening, we had one who was lying on his back in the sawdust while the other chicks were romping all over him. seth thought it best to put the sick little guy out of his misery. it was really, really, strangely hard, and i didn’t even have to do it.
oh, lawd. it was terrible.
i appreciate chicken way much more than you do already.
so, make that 25 chicks.
we are the worst chicken farmers ever.
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