As I walk to the chicken coop, the end of the line for my morning chores, the muffled cluck, cluck, cluck of the chickens can be heard through the wooden walls of the small, rustic house inside the wire fence. I am eager to see the little colored jewels that have been laid in the darkness of night.
Mornin’ chickens, I softly call out, not wanting to disturb the quiet peace that surrounds the moment. The clinking sound of me lifting the latch on the gate seems to stir the little feathered bottoms and I can hear them moving around, jumping down from their roosts and scuffling toward the door. Sure enough, when I open the “portal” to their overnight world, they are crowding the doorway to explore the outside on a crisp and sunny day, here in Colorado.
Dipping a plastic scoop into the chicken scratch, I toss the mixture of cracked corn and milo into the yard for their daily meal. As I dump the dirty water from the night before, some of them come over and watch what I’m doing. Maybe they are thirsty after being shut up all night in their safe house. Robbie tells me of a young mountain lion that got quite a few some years ago. Their little roosting house is quite safe.
One of the white ones walks up and squats down in front of me.
How would you like a little stroke, my beauty?I ask her. She sits and waits for me to pet her silky, smooth feathers.
I look inside at the hay filled nests and there they are. Four small eggs. As I reach gently for them, one of the girls walks up and starts talking to me about it. If only I understood chicken speak. I showed the eggs to her and thanked her for each one. She seemed satisfied as she turned around and walked out. She did kind of mumble under her breath though.
Heading toward the little yard gate, they followed me and I have to slip through quickly to keep them from escaping. I know they would love to come out and explore under the plants and nibble the dandelion weeds, so I pick some and toss them over the fence.
I mean, chickens have feelings too.