Well, the new not-so-little chicks have been integrated into the bigger flock. Tina came over to help. It has become an annual tradition, this moving of the chicks. While nothing will ever compare with the first year, when we backed the Moop up to the greenhouse where we were keeping them, I crawled into the large box that was their home, and I handed them out one at a time from the bottom of the dark box, it is still a fun evening.
These chicks were not nearly as interesting as the Campines. Campines SCREAM when handled. Our method now, after several years of experience, is to put four or five chicks in a tote, put the lid on, walk over to the Moop, crawl into the Moop with the tote and open it up to grab out the chicks and put them on the roost. All other breed tolerate this move. Not the Campines! There is much foot tapping and screaming the whole time we are walking from barn to Moop.
This year, there are no new Campines coming into the flock, so it really was an almost disappointingly calm bunch of chicks that were moved - 30 of them, including Peep II. All went without incident. This was Sunday night.
Monday night, Clay and I pulled all but two from under the Moop. Tuesday night, all 30 of them were miraculously inside the Moop at sundown.
Last night Clay called me to say most were huddled under the Moop again. I told him to go home, I was exhausted and didn't want to haul them out. They would be all right there for the night.
I lay in bed thinking of how much work I had put into them, and one raccoon could destroy them in one night. I got out of bed, put on old clothes, long sleeved shirt, heavy socks, because I know from experience how dirty a job this is. Twenty-one of the thirty were under the Moop, slightly out of reach. I went out there and pulled them out one by one, counting as I went. One felt lighter, and I heard the little plaintive peep peep peep peep PEEP! Yup, it was Peep. She immediately calmed down to two peeps as I carried her to the door of the Moop.
It was not how I wanted to end the day, but they are all safely inside. No raccoon treats last night.
Oh, how I hope they get it right tonight!!