I went out last night to make sure the kiddos were ok. It was a hugely blustering day with winds up to 40 mph, first from the south, then from the north, then a series of gust fronts that somehow centered over the Wichita area. It was as if the confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas rivers drew the interest of all the winds of the Great Plains, where they competed for supremacy. Anyway, it was windy.
By the time I got home, it was dark and the temperature was near or south of 50F. Not a big worry, but these little tykes (tykes when it is cold, teenagers when they are scrapping around in the washtub) aren’t fully feathered. Silence greeted me when I pulled open the gate and murmured a hello. Faint alarm bells sounded when I heard distant peeping. Surely they weren’t OUT of the coop! But, then again, a hazy National Geographic article memory assured me that animals will seek the safest shelter they can in times of crisis; be it bad weather, predators, heat, cold.
Scuffling in the hay for the end of the extension cord and the heat lamp cord, I didn’t panic. Once plugged in, I could at least see a little bit to locate our downy denizens. I know, the suspense is killing me too! Not in any of the five brooder boxes, and not under the brooder boxes, I began to wonder if I should look outside the fence. The peeping was off to my left. They had taken up residence under the crosspiece of the ground frame – inside the coop.
All is well.
This morning they peeped cheerily (which my Mrs. Jacupke and Angie’s Mrs Otis would call “personification”) when I went back out to count beaks. Still holding steady at five. They know we bring food when we come out, and they crawl around our hands, let us hold them, and love us. We can tell.