When we pulled into Dunreath Farm, a gaggle of Chinese Crested geese greeted us. (It amazes me how I knew they were Chinese Crested – my days on the board of a CSA tught me many lessons. As we pulled around the house, we say ducks and then guineas in a pen. Clearly, this was the place.
Philip grabbed our cardboard box filled with wood shavings out of Trapper, and we waited for someone to arrive, as surely they would since the dog alarms were going off.
Then, the farmer arrived and took us into what had once been a horse barn but was now their nursery. As one of the stall doors stood back, we saw them – hundreds of them – chicks and keets all wandering around. Happy birds every one.
She took a fishing net and scooped up five of our six and then took the sixth from where he? napped on the floor. Poor little one didn’t know what hit him.
We got a quick lesson on how to tell which ones are girls, once they get older – it’s their call – a two syllable crow of sorts – and then headed out, back from Ashland to Dad’s – to pick up Super Puppy and head another hour over the mountain home.
The babies slept the whole way in the hatch of the car with only the occasional jostle eliciting the quiet peep. They sound like crickets, or peepers, or seagulls – Philip said, “All I need is the smell of salt water.”
Now, they’re all settled into their brooder, and this morning when I went to visit, everyone had something to drink and some pecks of chicken starter, which the breeder told us she uses.
I’m excited and a little nervous, which is just where I should be, I think, we all this new life coming to our little patch.
I will tell you this, though – it feels right to have the first task of the day be a visit to the coop.
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