Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Chicken's Essential Nature

Chickens don't need to be taught to scratch, to look skyward and flap their wings, to love the outdoors.

The annual "release of the birds" reminds me of this.

The chicks spend the first 10-12 weeks of their lives confined indoors, safe from cats and hawks.

When I deem them big enough to fend for themselves, I open the door.

For a few minutes, they stand in the doorway looking. Then, one hops outside, pecks at some grain, and hops back inside.

She tries again a few minutes later. This time, a few others follow then rush back inside.

Within a few hours, they are all outside, scanning the ground for grain and bugs, flapping their wings, running, and gulping in the summer sun.

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