Monday, April 30, 2018

I owe you

I owe you two posts: the menu post, which I did not get posted this morning, and the 18 for 2018 update, which I meant to do Thursday.

They're coming, friends, although the menu plan has broken down already (I needed to start making stew about an hour and a half ago in order for it to be done in time for the first wave of supper-eaters), so I'm not certain it's even useful anymore.

And I didn't cross much more off my 18 for 2018 list, so I suppose you could just look at last month's update (seriously.  All I did in April was send friend mail 4 more times).

But today I need to talk about something else.

Last night I asked my Bible study friends to pray for AKD and his EDD teammates as they presented their final Senior capstone project this morning.  I asked them to pray that the boys would be able to communicate their idea and process and product effectively.  And they did.  They prayed.  And the boys did, too.  They communicated well.

But at 2:17 a.m., I realized I probably should have asked my Bible study friends to pray for my chickens, too.  Last night was the first night the little girls spent outside.  They still have their little pen inside the chicken run, which I pulled away from the wall, so the littles can get in and out but the bigs cannot, and yesterday Hubby put up a little partition in the hen house for them.  After the bigs were roosting, I took the babies, one by one, and put them inside their sleeping area.  But they were having none of it.  Remember when they were in the brooder and I had to shove each of them under the heating pad at least 5 times before they were willing to stay?  This was so much worse.  Chick parts everywhere, and me trying to contain them with my two hands and a not-so-rigid barrier. 

While all this was happening (and thankfully the bigs stayed on their roost, ignoring the hulabaloo), I noticed that Hazel's beak was bloody and appeared to be cracked.  I didn't panic, because part of Toasty's beak cracked off when she was around 3 months old, and it grew back.  I didn't panic, but I was sad for poor Hazel, and I wondered how it had happened.  Did she hurt herself?  Or did one of the bigs hurt her?  Or did I hurt her as I was trying to keep her contained?  She's fine today, by the way.  Just the tip of her upper beak is missing, and I'm not seeing the crack anymore.

Finally (about 45 minutes later?), with the light gone, the chicks decided to stay put instead of trying to escape.  I shut the pop door, and went inside, figuring I could get outside early enough the next morning (this morning) that the natives wouldn't have time to be restless.  Then I realized, with sunrise at 6:01 a.m., I would have had to go open the door at around 5 a.m., which I did not think I would be awake to do (I was wrong, by the way).  So, out I went to open the door, and by the light of the full moon I saw Koko lying down in the doorway to the chicks' area, which put her head about 2 inches away from the pop door.

At 2:17 a.m., I woke to the sound of pounding rain.  And if the wind is blowing just right (or wrong, depending on your perspective), rain can blow into the hen house.  Right where Koko had been sleeping the last time I saw her.  Being wet can be very bad news for chicks who are just starting to regulate their own temperatures.  I was also worried about how the morning would go.

So I prayed through the early morning for my chicks, and I wished that I had others praying with me.

Why didn't I ask my friends to pray for the chickens? 

Well, because it seems a little silly.  Most people consider chickens to be food, or at the very least, farm animals.  And farm animals are, well, they're expendable.  They die, sometimes so people can eat them, sometimes because they get sick or are taken by predators, and sometimes for no discernible reason at all.

To me, chickens are pets, and I care about their welfare.  If one of them gets sick, or hurt, or dead, I don't say, oh well, it was just a chicken.

And here's the thing.  You might think it's silly to pray for chickens.  But God doesn't.  In the same way that I care about what my children care about, God cares about what's important to me.  And what's important to me, among other things of course, is chickens.

The other day Bubby's teacher mentioned that he was being more talkative than normal.  I responded that it was true, once he gets started talking it's hard to get him to stop, but I also said that we don't try to get him to stop, because we want to hear anything he cares to tell us.  God is the same.  He wants to hear it all.  The big stuff, the little stuff, the annoying stuff, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here's how I found Koko and Hazel this morning.  They were on top of their pen, and not really sure how to get down, so I helped them.  Rocky and Esther were pacing on the ground below.

Integration is ... well, not going so well.  The bigs have not grown used to the littles.  They're still lunging forward as if to peck whenever one of the littles comes into view.  The littles are getting pretty good at squealing and running away whenever one of the bigs lunges at them.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, we have a hard deadline coming up soon, at which point the girls need to be getting along.  I'm worried it's not going to happen.  I guess we've got more praying to do, friends.

Also, I wonder if Hubby can make a second coop in 2 weeks.

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