Dirty birds move out; alas, chicks move in
How many folks buy wading pools for their chickens? We do. Chicks live under heat lamps until they feather out. A pool controls them and their mess. I called a discount store and spoke to a helpful cashier who sang the praises of a deluxe model with built in steps and a slide. I assured her chickens didn’t need a deluxe model. “What does a chicken need with stairs or a slide?” I asked? Her reply consisted of silence. I imagined her wondering if she heard correctly.
New pool installed in the porch bathroom (remember the evil messy ducks’ pool resides in my office) we drove to Cameron to pick up fifty darlin’ chicks. On the way home I lifted the lid repeatedly to view the peeping mass. The thrill of new babies vied with the dread of the weather to come. Thirty-nine degrees this evening. Why does the temperature always drop when we fetch new birds home?
Two lamps and a space heater warmed the bathroom into the 90’s. The chicks sipped water and tilted their heads back to swallow. So endearing, I thought. Not like those demanding, smelly ducks ensconced in my office. Chicks bumbled into the feeders and set to with voracious appetites. Day one ended with contented chicks settling down on the fragrant hay for their first nap. We checked on them throughout the night from the warm vantage point of the inside doorway. I love chicks.
Early on day two I raced to the bathroom to view the babies. Still sweet-smelling with dry bedding (unlike the teen-aged ducks) they puttered around like clockwork toys. I supplied more feed and water and I noticed wing feathers sprouting on several babies. I gazed fondly upon my little dears, then went to feed the disgusting ducks and complete morning chores.
Day three saw chicks learning to leap. With practice and flapping their altitude improved to double their height. A large mahogany-colored Einstein considered the top edge of the pool. I felt a chill. I saw the gears whirring in its chicken-brain. Another noticed it and joined its contemplation of the pool top. More joined the fowl think tank; I knew it was time for a higher barrier. Food and water distracted them while I went to find the hubby, a roll of cage wire and the wire cutters.
Border secured, I went to feed the ducks. Six escapees scuttled around the outside of the pool.”I’ve had it with you!” I shrieked. “I’m tired of the mess and I want my office back, you dirty birds!” Remember when I thought ducklings were adorable? Their outdoor pen ready, Art carried them in covered buckets to their new digs. I stood in the door of my office and contemplated the wreckage. Tomorrow, I told myself, I’ll deal with this tomorrow. I shut the door and returned to watch the chicks for a few minutes. Chicken therapy calms me.
Day four brought bad news. “I want my bathroom back, “Art grumbled. “I need a long hot soak after all the duck toting.” I wanted to cry. Visions of working in my office evaporated. I must keep my assistant happy for the times I can’t carry out my wonderful new ideas. I agreed to move the chicks into my office. What’s another six weeks of birds blocking my desk? After all, chicks are adorable.