Feather Story

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

(March’s “Worm Moon,” Waning Gibbous @78.9%”; April’s full “Pink Moon,” rises @4/16.)

I brought home the only baby chicken left from the store’s last shipment. The little hen, about five days old is a Dominant Copper, a sweet breed that’s one of my favorites.

Arriving at work, I found her alone in the “sick tank,” and there because of missing feathers and looking bald in spots. I understand it’s common in her breed, that some feathers eventually might or might not grow.

Her two tank buddies were sold the evening before. This now-lone chick was energetically attempting to leap from the short-sided holder. She shouldn’t be left alone, so I decided to take her home, adding to young chickens now in brooders.

The store had sold out of chickens. This one would spend the next eight hours alone. I transferred her into a large tank in the public “chicken area” to keep an eye on her. Alone at first in ample new space, she cried loudly. To counter her calls for company, I purchased a feather duster and a stuffed animal, placed them in her tank. She explored, liked the feathers, and quietened significantly.

Before long, she could be found nestling and dozing on the feather duster. Otherwise, she was active and ate vigorously–all good. A co-worker said his wife once added a mirror to entertain a single chick, and I placed a borrowed mirror beside this chick’s feather duster. Soon, one could tiptoe to the quiet tank, peek, and see Baby at rest on feathers, pecking at her mirror.

My friend and coworker, Debbie, took pictures and videos of baby chicken and accouterments, but my phone needs too long to transfer them for publishing today. Meanwhile, the header photo adds heft to this story.

Chick was adorable, even missing some feathers. Customers saw and enjoyed her, wanted to buy her. The potential ease of selling a single chicken became a lesson for future leftover chicks.

Here at home, little chicken is holding her own among three slightly bigger hens. They didn’t pick on her, and she insisted on nestling among them. This morning, all’s well in the group brooder.

Dear Friends: Chickens are underrated beings; they’re smart and fun. Diana

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