Bionic Chicks!

Jungle Gym Time

Jungle Gym Time

Bessie’s chicks are two weeks old today. And they’re totally bionic! They’re not only huge for their age, they are breaking all the rules. For one thing, to my understanding, chicks are supposed to be kept above 90 degrees farenheit until they have lost all their baby fuzz and have real feathers. That means either keeping them in a box under a heat lamp, if you’re raising them yourself, or, if you’re a mother hen, keeping them pretty much “under wraps” (that would mean under your own feathers) any time the weather is less than sunny and very warm. Then and only then would you venture out of doors with them, and then only for a brief, supervised learning expedition.

Apparently none of this applies with Bessie’s brood. She took it upon herself to start their education early, at about the 3-day mark, fluffing them out the henhouse door and into the yard in search of small specs of choice morsels, invisible to the naked human eye but obviously a great delight to her babies, as they all would run in a single mass for whatever delectable tidbit Bessie was showing them at the moment, and pile on. Who got the morsel? Quien sabe? I sure couldn’t tell.

We had three days of snow, rain, and cold over the Easter weekend, and each and every day those chicks were out in it, snuffling and pecking about in the sodden mess of their yard. And at this point I can tell it’s not all at Bessie’s bidding. They are, in fact, starting to run amok over her. Not only do they keep her from resting by pushing her up off the ground so they can all crowd under her at bedtime, but they take great liberties with her body, using her as a jungle gym and slide whenever they take a notion.

I’ve had several broods of chicks, and these really do take the cake (and just about anything else I’ll feed them, for that matter). All I can attribute it to is the Super Blue Green Algae powder, manufactured by Simplexity Health, that I’ve been sprinkling on their food. I started doing it to make sure their mom stayed fit, as raising 10 youngsters at her ripe old age is quite a feat.  The algae is such an incredible superfood that it has the entire family pumped up like a bunch of little Navy Seals.

Bessie is doing fabulously well herself and seems to really enjoy her brood. She is teaching them many things each day, including how to flap up into the low tree limbs of the cedars in their pen, how to share a piece of bread (not really), etc. But she also ran over to me at the gate this morning, yelling “Let me out, let me out, let me out!” I had to make it clear that was not an option because there were coyotes waiting everywhere to snap up her and her babes. She demured, remembering her previous flock’s fate, and went back to her teaching duties.

But frankly, I would dare just about any coyote to come take on this crew! (Unless it’s on Super Blue Green Algae too!)

(P.S. If you’re into “orbs,” check out the big one hovering over Bessie. Looks like she and her family have a vigilant guardian angel, doesn’t it?)

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