The Great Peeper Escape

Well, shoot, those baby chicks are three days old already, so naturally it’s time for them to start having adventures or getting in trouble. They were fine this morning when I went in and gave Star some scratch to enjoy. Oh, and since my sister asked, I decided I better name them, so meet (left to right) Granite, Bronzer, and Steel. I figure those names are unisex and color-coded, so I can remember them.

Hello, we like to eat. And peep.

Lee and I went on an ill-fated trip to find him a zero-gravity folding chair to sleep in when we travel, and when we got back, I headed over to the chickens to give them some mealworms I’d bought for them (as if they don’t have enough insects).

I heard a great deal of peeping long before I got to the chicken run. Obviously something was wrong! Was something in there going after my babies? Was one of them hurt?

Steel had just pecked Star’s beak. I’m sure that’s her loving look. Chickens don’t have many expressions, sort of like cats.

I peeked inside the roosting area, and there was Star and two chicks. Bronzer was not there. And the loud peeping was from outside the roost. The biggest peeper had managed to jump up on the fine Hook ‘Em sign I’d used to block their exit and gone down the ramp. Uh oh.

Right as I figured that out, Star jumped through the opening and went to comfort Bronzer. There he/she/they was, bopping around and poking at grass and such. The chick was fine, just wanted MAMA! Great, I thought, I have to move her before I can get to the baby.

Yay, eating from the feeder. Note that Steel is already getting some new wing feathers.

I gamely went into the coop, and crawled through the chicken opening, which is not a semi-large human opening. I was wearing clean jeans. Note that I say WAS wearing clean jeans, since Star had been depositing large mama hen poops all over the place. I waved at her, and she ran back up to the other two chicks.

As I waited for little Bronzer to bop close enough to me to be caught I noticed something I’d forgotten about: there was a DOOR to that roosting area, for if you wanted to shut the chickens in there at night. Aha! It’s a really cheap and non-sturdy door, as only a Tractor Supply’s least expensive chicken coop would be likely to have. But, it shuts.

Bronzer is really big. Hope that doesn’t mean future rooster.

I chatted to Bronzer for a while, as my back got all frozen up, and did I mention it was extra windy and below 60 degrees? Yep. I was worried the little one would get too cold, after reading about keeping them at 95 degrees for the first week (that is Star’s job).

But, yay, my patience paid off and I easily picked up the chick. Figuring out how to back up in a very tight space holding a peeping and wiggling bird was the next challenge. Something was catching my shirt, but I managed. Whew. I plopped Bronzer back where they were supposed to be and managed to shut that door. Safety at last!

Thanks for the bugs, says Bertie Lee. They are nummy. I’ll lay you an egg later.

Now that Star can’t get out, either, I went and got her some adult chicken food and will put more in there tomorrow. I was very glad to see Bronzer eating away and looking no worse for wear. At the rate they are growing, I should be able to let them back out in a couple of days, anyway. I’m learning that chickens are pretty tough.

Star must have mites or something. She’ll get to have a dust bath soon!

Hope your adventures have good endings today like mine have!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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