Growing Up Is Hard

Mother on the roost with two chicks
Life is full of challenges. Things are always changing. Nothing stays the same. And it’s as true for chicks as it is for us. The Milky Way galaxy we live in is moving at some 1,350,000 miles an hour through the universe. Every day we travel some 32 million miles. From the moment we are born until we die, we are never in the same space, traveling through space at incredible, unimaginable speed. All of us, even the chickens. At times it may seem like nothing changes, but every hour of every day hour we travel more than a million miles. At that speed we could buzz around the earth more than 50 times in an hour. So the next time you are in a difficult situation, close your eyes and remember that in an hour you’ll be more than a million miles away from where you are now.
Yesterday evening was a traumatic time for these chicks. Their mother decided it’s time to start roosting again after sleeping with her chicks in a small barn for the last two months. Two of her chicks followed her up to the roost. But the other two couldn’t understand why she wasn’t in their bed. So they spent the night huddled together, wondering where their mother had gone.
Today, they are all together, following her around through the pasture and woods. Maybe tonight, they will all figure out that their mother is roosting with the other grownup chickens and join her and the other chicks on the roost.
It won’t be long before they have an even more traumatic experience, when their mother decides that her mothering time is over and shoos them away when they want to follow her around.
Broiler raised chickens never have to face this ordeal of growing up. Broiler and most farmed chicken never have a mother to contend with. So they never have to confront separation anxiety. Then again, most farmed chicken, broiler-free range-pastured never live this long.
Chicks on their own
Note: The egg you see under the chicks is a wooden egg. I keep wooden eggs in the nests I want the hens to use, to encourage them to lay there. Hens prefer to lay eggs in nests where there are other eggs.

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