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Three of the hens are laying now.  Miss Red, here, is the most consistent layer of the brood.  Everyday by 10am there is a large brown egg waiting for us in the box.  With two of the other hens laying, we average 2 a day.  The eggs have moved beyond novelty to staple.  We didn’t get to the store this weekend, so I had to survey the kitchen and think on my feet to come up with dinner.  Eggs on the counter + veggies from the CSA basket = quiche for dinner.

Maybe the novelty has yet to wear.  I’m still pretty excited by our small sliver of urban sustainability.

Baby Girl sums it up best:  “One mine baby chickens has a owie on her leg”.

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One of our chicks has injured her leg. We don’t know what happened, but her hock (the joint) is swollen, the shank (the lower part of the leg) is at a wonky angle and her foot is kind of floppy.  Reminds me a little of when the hubby dislocated his shoulder, but with significantly less swearing.

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She is kind of the runt of the brood, so we moved her into her own space so the other girls wouldn’t pick on her.  Before we moved her, they were walking all over her, literally.  She gets around surprisingly well by hopping on the good leg.  There is a lot of balancing with her wings and occasionally putting down her hock to right herself (I’m guessing that is not helping with the swelling).  Otherwise, she keeps that leg up, but is still eating, drinking and pooping regularly.

So, here is our dilemma.  Do we wait and see if she improves on her own?  Is there something we can do to help fix it?  Do we loosen the purse strings and take her to the vet?  From similar-sounding cases I’ve read about, the responses have run the gamut.  At the very least, I can say with certainty that we aren’t willing to put her down.  She has a much gentler temperament than some of the other gals, which seems an especially desirable trait while being raised around kids.

We brought our new babies home today – all 6 of them.

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The children (and adults) have been enraptured ever since.

They were delivered to us at church this morning by a friend who placed the order.  We showed them (in their box) to the children during the children’s sermon, which was a pitch for Heifer International.  As I carried them into the sanctuary,  Baby Girl came in behind me and yelled, “Look at my baby chickens!”   After the children’s sermon, the Boy took the opportunity to declare to the whole church, “And L. is going to clean out the poop!”  Nothing that a 6 year old boy needs more than another chance to talk about poop.

Once we got them home and settled into their (temporary) new space, we all sat around watching them.  It was difficult pulling everyone away long enough to sit down and eat lunch (after a thorough handwashing, of course).  A few minutes into lunch, a couple of the chicks started cheeping, to which Baby Girl replied, “my chickies want me to come over”.

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The Boy wanted to be sure the chicks had a proper introduction to music.  His first question was, “Can I put on some music so the chicks can dance?”  Later, when he noticed them getting sleepy, he rushed to the stereo to turn on mellow music.  “Look, I think the music is helping them sleep”.

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We spent quite a bit of time trying to identify which breeds we have.  They came in an “brown egg layer mix” so it is a bit of a grab bag.  As they get bigger and feather out more, we should have a better idea if our guesses are right.

The coop build is scheduled for next weekend, but they won’t move in for several weeks.

Tomorrow, I’ll turn the heat lamp off for a few minutes and try to get some photos that aren’t tinted red.  But for now, you’ll have to excuse me.  I have some babies to go admire.