At six o’clock on Friday morning, the phone rang with an unfamiliar number. The call, however, was one I’d heard before. Without needing to hear the message, I knew it said (in so many words), get this racket out of here. Half an hour later I was knocking on the door of the still-closed Mount Horeb post office, and the woman who opened the door looked relieved that I’d come. Behind her among the stacks of unsorted letters and packages was a box, chirping at a volume far too loud and perky for the hour: a hundred Freedom Ranger chicks had arrived from the Pennsylvania hatchery.
The new chicks are the first real life of this growing season on the farm, aside from the tiny plants growing in our cold frame. Having them here feels like a real beginning. Since their arrival, they have been keeping warm and busy in their new home in the basement. They’re cute and fluffy now– within a week they will begin to grow wing feathers and outgrow their basement home. Once it’s warm enough, we will move them out into their mobile house with a heat lamp at night for warmth.