The chicks wander further from their coop this week. They stay together, pecking grass, eating weeds, and scratching dirt. They discover the shed, and spend hours in there eating spiders. One evening, we come outside, and they’re lined up on the pole to my husband’s old wash-tub bass. They’re sleeping. I rush in to get the camera, but of course, they’re awake by the time I return.
Another day the chicks’ peeps are louder than usual, and I glance outside to see a neighborhood cat streaking across the yard. At first I can’t find the chicks. Then I discover a black one separated from the group, hiding behind the begonias. The others run from beneath their coop, making a beeline for the stray one. They all seem relieved to be reunited and go about their pecking and scratching, seemingly unruffled by the episode.
In the evenings, we don’t have to pick the chicks up to put them in their coop anymore. We stand at the gate and call them, and they run across the yard and file inside single file.
I’m much more fond of these chickens than I imagined I would be. They’re a tight-knit group, but I’m starting to notice some individual personality traits. When I’m taking photos, one yellow chick always steps to the front. It’s almost like she’s posing.