“Shouldn’t we be putting the chickens away?” Emma hollered down the stairs.
I looked up from my writing, minutes away from finishing a promised feature article for my editor.
“Why?” I asked, “They usually get to stay out in the yard until it gets dark.”
“Look outside Mom,” said Emma, just a little exasperated that I wasn’t catching on to something that she thought was incredibly obvious.
I got up from my seat to look out the window and sure enough, even though there was bright sunshine, it was also pouring rain. How does that even happen?
Yup, it was definitely time to get all of our chickens out of the yard and into the coop.
Logan, Emma, and I ran around chasing after the chickens while also getting soaked from this freak little storm. So much for my hair, I thought, knowing full well that just a whisper of humidity would make me look to all like Bozo’s long lost sister.
I swear, we looked but couldn’t find a rain cloud. Perhaps it was simply a malfunction like those in the movie, The Truman Show where rain would spontaneously start and stop. The sky was so bright that at one point, due to the sun’s rays, we could clearly see the rain as it was coming down from above – millions of bits of tiny shooting glass falling against a blue sky.
We all stopped to watch – “Wow, look at that.”
“What about the babies?” Asked Emma, concerned that our 6 youngest chicks would need protection from the storm.
I looked over at our 6 bantams. Sure enough, they were experiencing rain for the first time in their open air nursery and all were miserably hunched in a corner trying to get away from the drops that kept pounding on their backs. Rain was definitely not on the list of the top 10 favorite things in their short lives so far.
“Wait,” I said. I found a small plastic table, used by my kids years ago as a lemonade stand. Carefully, I balanced it on top of one half of the baby chick’s open air nursery creating a protective canopy. Once the chicks realized that there was a safe area where the drops couldn’t reach them, they relaxed and spread out. A few of the braver ones ventured outside the protection of the table to where the rain still dropped beyond, while the rest preferred to stay on the dry side and scratched on the damp ground happy with the table’s protection.
The rain shower lasted for a few minutes more and then only a few fat drops fell at periodic intervals.
Mama hen lesson learned? It’s important to get those you care for out of a sudden unexpected rain. Trust that they don’t like it any more than you do. But be sure to provide the protection and support needed to allow them to venture out on their own when they are ready.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.