I'm still getting used to the idea of even having chickens. They've only been around for about six weeks. Fourteen Black Australorps and one...Redcap? probably?
They arrived in the mail, in a ventilated cardboard box that went peep peep peep -- louder when we drove around curves or over hills. For the first month or so, they lived indoors, in a large dog crate. When we moved them outside, into a shiny new chicken coop in the yard, they suddenly stopped looking like overgrown, gangly baby chicks and started looking like full-blown chickens in miniature. The transformation was instantaneous, and remarkable.
So, anyway, this evening I sat on the back steps, watching the chickens.
A few of them came right up to me, expecting treats. Reaching into the nearby jar, I pulled out a handful of dried mealworms. I let a couple of chickens eat out of my hand, and then when I got tired of being pecked, I tossed the rest on the ground and let the feeding frenzy commence.
The chickens had been ranging out into the yard a bit when I first arrived on the scene, but now they began to stay closer to their coop. They drank water, nibbled at their chicken feed, chased each other around a bit. Then slowly, in ones and twos, they began to make their way up the ramp and into the coop.
This, I would never have believed as recently as a week ago. I thought we'd be chasing chickens every evening, scooping them up and gently shoving them into shelter. I didn't know that as the sun set, they would want to go to bed -- but they do, and somehow, I find that incredibly comforting.
When they seemed to all have gone to bed, I closed the door behind them. Simple as that.
I didn't count them, but I'm pretty sure they were all in there. I decided to trust them.
Meanwhile, there's a new month on the horizon, and change is in the air. I can feel it -- and I am going to try, for a change, not to dwell on it overmuch. I'm going to choose trust, and see what unfolds.