The opposite of stealing

Imagine, if you will, a warm late May evening in Southern Indiana. The tree frogs are belching out their goodbyes to the light, the fireflies are making their first appearances of the year, and the chickens are snoring, fast asleep in their coop.

The moon through the trees, just before our caper

The moon through the trees, just before our caper

Enter two shadowy figures in the darkness–one toting a lantern, the other a pullet under each arm. Who are these characters? Chicken thieves? Is that what this world has come to?

Oh, but, no, gentle readers. It was only me. Well, Tim and me. See, last night we had to do the weirdest thing. We had to sneak chickens into a coop under the cover of night.

It’s all right there in black and white on the internet (would that be in blue and white?). The best way to introduce new chickens to an existing flock is, after a period of getting to know one another in supervised visits, the nocturnal switcheroo. It’s a switcheroo for the chicks, who go to bed at night thinking it’s like any other evening, snug and cozy in your garage, where they have been spreading their dust and their funky chicken odors for weeks or months. (Since April 5, but who’s counting?) For the existing flock, it’s like waking up on Christmas morning and discovering that Santa’s elves left them more of their own.

Well, I hope that was what it was like. We didn’t hear any shrieking this morning and none of the babies were bleeding or acting traumatized, so hopefully the sunrise scenario went well. After the loss of a silkie earlier this week, I was braced for anything.

And, come to that, losing the silkie baby was sad, but now that she is gone, we are able to move the bigger chicks (each of them is nearly the size of our adult bantam hens) into the coop. We were really only holding out for the silkie. I hate what happened to her–we wanted buff silkies, damn it!–but it happened and we decided there was no point in growing out the chicks in the garage any longer.

So, night prowlers, we became.

As we listened to the anxious peeps of the baby chicks, Tim turned to me and said something I never expected to hear. “I guess we should plan on expanding the run next year.” As in, he wants a BIGGER chicken run for the birds.

The man has become a chicken lover, after all.

A bird's eye view of breakfast. This is what the chickens see first thing in the morning out the pop door of the coop.

A bird’s eye view of breakfast. This is what the chickens see first thing in the morning out the pop door of the coop. This is the area Tim plays to expand.

More from us soon. This weekend we should be recording more podcasts, so I guess that means we’ll finally be releasing some, as well. Catch you on the flip side!

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