We had to give them back. The family we were watching them for came home, and we packed everything into the car and shook up some hand warmers and put them into the box and drove the baby chicks out to two very excited children. And for the last few days, we've been commenting on the quietness when we wake up in the morning - not in a happy way. We miss the cheep cheeping. We miss walking by the two little fluffy gals and hearing their little feet skitter around the cardboard box.
But then it was obvious the moment we dropped them off that they're where they belong. Those two kids scooped them up just like they held baby chicks every day of their lives. And while they don't, it's not too far from the truth. The family has seven chickens, some of which they've raised since they were as young as two weeks old. Of course, this time the little gals they were holding (Rita and Matilda - we got the honor of naming them after our poop heroics) were just about a week old. But they didn't seem one bit phased. While we were super concerned about whether the ladies liked being handled and worried about traumatizing them, the chicks seemed calm and relaxed in the tiny hands that so confidently held them.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that because I only had the camera on my phone, and it doesn't take in-motion shots all that well.
But we did get a few pictures of the grown-up chickens and got some hands-on experience with what happens when a chicken gets handled a lot from the very beginning.
You get to hold them like this.
|This fuzzy gal is a fast-forward version of Matilda (the little black chick) will look like when she grows up (though, of course, black).|
So - not that you would've thought anything different - this little chick-sitting stint has just strengthened our resolve. We're more excited than ever to move into our own house (not that that'll be happening any time soon) so we can order some little chickens and not give them back to anybody.
One day we'll have gals like these bopping around our yard and pecking at our back door asking for some sunflower seeds. (Yes, these girls actually do that.)