“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17, 2011

Tuesday I picked up six baby chickens. Every year we add new girls to the flock so that we always have some strong layers. As chickens get older they lay less often, so mixing young and old keep the flock productive.

That same Tuesday night, a cold front pushed through the area, led with a line of severe thunderstorms that knocked out electrical power. We were asleep at the time and didn’t know, but our daughter, who was at work only a few miles away, called to tell us it was out. She was worried that the baby chicks might get cold – without electricity their heat lamp would be off.

I got up and went downstairs and found my way to the garage. With a flashlight, I looked into the brooder to check on the chicks – just two days old. They were huddled together, shivering. They didn’t have enough body heat to share to keep them warm.

I gathered them into a small box and took them into our house, which was a bit cold too, since the heat was out with the electric. Kath and I could only think of one place that would be warm. We lay in bed and nestled the box of chicks beneath the covers between us…

In about fifteen minutes the chicks began chirping and scratching around – a sign they were warming up and moving out of their huddle. Over the next hour or so, the storms moved past and then later the electricity was restored. Towards morning we were able to put the chicks back into their brooder, warmed by the bright heat lamp. And Kath and I went back to sleep…

It’s all part of living on a backyard farm…

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