Happy Birthday, Chickens!

Alice enjoys the shade and waits for a birthday cocktail.

Alice enjoys the shade and waits for a birthday cocktail.

A year ago, six precious little chicks hatched in an incubator in Ohio. Twenty-four hours after they emerged, a human scooped up these particular individuals, put them in a little nest inside a box, and off they flew through the U.S. Postal Service, where I met them as they were unloaded. I was wondering how their personalities would develop, as individuals and as a flock, given that I didn’t choose them; with our first flock, I chose our girls based on who came to my hand curiously in the brooder at Tractor Supply. Well, chalk one up for randomness because other than Chancellor’s teenage jerk phase, which seems to be an unfortunate byproduct of testosterone, they are the some of the sweetest animals I’ve had the pleasure to know. They make me laugh every day and soothe my heart with their soft feathers and nonstop chicken discussions. They supervise DS while he plays. They help DH in his garden. Their eggs nourish over a dozen people in our family. Jenny made the collective day of DS’s preschool class when she visited last week and let all 17 children pet her. They have a lot to teach us about selflessly giving joy to others while taking care of themselves.

All that's missing is the mealworms!

All that’s missing is the mealworms!

Nutmeg, Pumpkin, and Jenny ponder their next guest appearance,  and insist on lemon water being served in the greenroom this time.

Nutmeg, Pumpkin, and Jenny ponder their next guest appearance, and insist on lemon water being served in the greenroom this time.

Happy birthday, best chickens. There’s a new tub of mealworms with your names on it.

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