Cody, come quick, the chicks are hatching! Cody came running in time to see the last of the baby chicks hatch.
As they hatched, they went down the wooden ramp and joined their mother. Their nest was on a shelf in the chicken coop which was about two feet off the ground. All were down on the ground with their mom except one baby chick which was just emerging from her shell.
It was a magical moment watching a new life make her entrance into this world. As we watched, the hen was on the ground gathering her chicks under her. One by one, they disappeared under her fluffy feathers. It was then that I made one of my smoother moves. I picked up the baby chick and placed her on the ground near the hen. Don’t ever try this at home.
The hen examined the newest chick and promptly began to peck at it. Steve! Come quick! She’s trying to kill her baby! Steve came in to see what the commotion was all about. You picked the chick up?
The hen was at it again. I couldn’t take it and picked the chick up again. She smells you and doesn’t think the chick is hers.
What are we going to do? We can’t let the chick die? I shrieked at Steve. There was no way he’d let the chick die so he said we’d figure something out. I brought the baby chick in the house with me and named her Gorditas. Yes, that Gorditas after the Taco Bell fare of the same name. I thought it was cute. Still do.
I set her down on the carpet. She flapped her little wings and ran after me. She thought I was her mother. How cute!
Steve shook his head as he got out our grinder. He brought in some chicken scratch and ground it up small enough for Gordy to eat. I can’t believe I’m doing this. We can’t just let her roam around the house, we need a cage and a heat lamp. Out Steve headed and fifty dollars later we had a deluxe chicken condo and a heat lamp. Did I mention he’s a great guy?
Gorditas’ name was shortened to Gordy as Steve didn’t really like naming her after a food item whose ingredients included chicken. She grew and seemed happy with her makeshift family. She slept with the dogs in their dog houses and ate their food. She was friends with Figuero and Simba kitties and all seemed right in her world.
By then she was out of the house and on her own in the backyard. She was so friendly and funny and never failed to bring smiles to our faces. She did tend to decorate our concrete patio with feed, dog food and other unmentionables, but all in all raising a pet chicken worked out just fine. I don’t think she knew she was a chicken.
Eventually, she discovered her wings and liked to fly up and eat the cat food. We kept it high off the ground as our Corgi, Cheyenne, would share her dog food with Gordy, but thought the cat food was hers. The cats were pretty much okay with Gordy eating their food and didn’t even swipe at her.
All was fine until one morning we went out and Gordy was gone. I was sure a chicken-hawk carried her off and was sad. I missed her and her antics and hoped that she wasn’t scared and that she didn’t suffer. I felt lucky that I had the opportunity to meet such a special soul and relearn what I thought I knew.
Spring came and along with it, we had the surprise of our lives. What do you know? Gordy did know she was a chicken. There she was accompanied by two baby chicks of her own.
A lot of good all my worrying did me and all concerned. Gordy ended up fine on her own and would have been fine when she started out if my worrying hadn’t caused me to interfere with the natural progression of things. Maybe, just maybe I’ll learn one of these days.