Last summer, I told the story of the four little chicks that hatched out here and imprinted on me. I didn't even spend much time with them - they were only in the house about a month, in the atrium. I spoke to them when I put food and water in their box, but I didn't pick them up. But imprint they did, and when I took them out with the big chickens, they would come running to me every time I entered the chicken run. I enjoyed sitting on the back step of the Moop and waiting for them to hop all over me. They sat on my shoulders. They sat on my head. They sat in my lap. Goldie had a penchant for picking at my eyes, and I had to remember to wear my glasses when I went out there. I sold one of them, but the other three are still here and let me pick them up, even the Campine rooster, Tiny. He isn't wild about it, but it is a miracle that I am able to handle him at all. Campines are skittish to say the least. Ricky Ricardo is just a big baby and is not happy until we have some cuddling time before he goes to roost. Goldie is still my buddy, too.
Peep didn't show any signs of imprinting until tonight. She has been back with the big chicks for several days now, and seems to be doing okay. But today she went missing. I was sure a critter had gotten her. But then I heard her frantic peep from behind a feed bag in a corner. She had managed to fly out of the big water tank that serves as a home for the chicks. She led me on a merry chase, but eventually I got her back in the tank.
Tonight I went out to make sure they had food and water for the night, and she was running around outside again. I leaned over; she ran to me and hopped into my outstretched hands. Her panicked five-note peeping slowed to two or three peeps as she leaned against my chest. Yes, she has definitely imprinted. I have another baby.
I am just so in love with that chick!