The title of this post says it all. When I left my happy little home in April I had three fluffy dependent little chicks who followed me around like lost puppies. They were tiny and sweet and had chick fluff all over.
I came home nine days later to discover that someone had absconded with my three chicks and replaced them with three big honkin' chickens. Yes, my girls grew up when I was gone and I'll admit to being a bit sad about it. When I got home I went racing out to their coop and as I rounded the corner I saw three heads peering up at me. I thought "Wow, they must be standing on their little cardboard nesting box." When I got closer - no box. Just long chicken legs. I am not sure how this happened. I feel like I missed their teen years somehow.
At least I know that I'll never be a proponent of boarding school after this experience. Even though it sounds appealing when you read old-fashioned English children's literature, it turns out that I can't even leave chickens for nine days without feeling sadness at the changes in them. You think I'm waxing poetic for no good reason? How about some before and after pictures to put it all in perspective.
Here's little Sookie a few days before we left. She's perched on my arm - her favorite place to be if she's not in my lap. Note the light-colored head and all the chick fluff sticking out.
Now look at this large fully-feathered chick-fluff-free chicken who's snarfeling down a watermelon today! That tank is Sookie and she has no interest in perching on my arm or coming anywhere near me right now. She's actually quite standoffish - a phase that I hope is short-lived.
Thank goodness we still have little Clementine who will knock over a bowl of oats just to greet me when I come out to see her. She's also not opposed to chicken kisses from my 5-year-old. Maggie is still a bit unsure and will come close, but has yet to perch on me like the good ole' days (meaning 2 weeks ago). I must become the chicken whisperer and become one with them in order to infiltrate their tight little chicken coven again.
Yesterday I started the infiltration process by bribing them with a quarter of a watermelon. It's already insanely hot around here with high temperatures in the 90s all week. The chickens are panting like hot dogs and I read that they can enjoy a watermelon to cool off. I cut up a watermelon that we had left-over from vacation and served it up a la carte today. They went hog-wild over it and I made sure I did my special chicken whisperer moves on them while they were eating the melon so they'd be tricked into liking me again.
When I went to move them into their coop last night the only thing left in the middle of the chicken run was a green watermelon rind. Clementine jumped into my arms to be transferred to the coop as soon as she saw me. Maggie didn't fight when I picked her up and Sookie only gave me one slight stink eye when I handled her…so things are moving in the right direction.