Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Chicks and a Bear!

An exciting trip to town today. We have spent the past few days fixing up the chicken barn. Ken had to put new roofing on it and I had the inside detail. All the goodies that come out will be the food for my garden is a couple of years (remember, this is the Yukon and it is bloody cold, compost takes time up here).
The chicks came in on the 5 pm plane from Edmonton. They have thankfully changed their schedule, it used to be on the 10 pm one. Then time to get the chicks to the feed store, sorting bills etc. We live an hour and a half from Whitehorse so made for late nights. This is much nicer. The chicks come in a cardboard carton with 25 to a section. We got 78 altogether. They usually give you an extra one for each 25 you order. Last year I got was too much work for not much reward.
When we get home we take them out to the chicken barn and put each one's bill into the water so they get the idea of drinking. They are pretty amazing. It takes them about a minute to find the food and start drinking, eating and exploring. They are born with incredible instincts.
If you look closely you can see my stumpy-tailed cattle dog Cassie looking very alert. She is so happy to get her job back. She herds the little ones with her nose if they get out of the enclosure. When they are larger she helps me get them back inside for a lock up. Any dogs that come around when the chickens are here are in for big trouble! She attacks them and drives them away, even the few dogs that are her 'friends'. She takes her job very seriously.
Unfortunately these super cute chicks turn into really ugly adolescent chickens in a couple of weeks. Sort of the opposite of the ugly duckling story. But let me tell you, they are super tasty!!!
Then the bonus, a black bear that sat still for a couple of photos on the way home. It was very busy eating newly sprouted dandelions by the side of the road. This time of year you see lots of bears doing the same thing. I saw another one on Tuesday going to school. It stood up on his hind legs to get a good look, but then it ran away before I could get a picture.

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