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Surprise!

April 15, 2014

All winter I have been thinking about resurrecting the old chicken farm. A couple of weeks ago I started seeing fuzzy yellow chicks for sale on Craigslist.  Then I got this vision of four Easter baskets with newborn chicks in them, for an Easter surprise.

After much research and Craigslist shopping and calling various chicken farmers and deliberating, I settled on “Easter Eggers”, a mix of Americaunas and Wyandottes, known for their sparkling personalities and colorful eggs.

This morning at 7:00 a.m. I met a chicken farmer in the parking lot of the Champs in Maplewood.  There in the parking lot, I experienced a phenomena familiar to all Craigslist shoppers.  I call it “Craigslist-colored-glasses”.

It happens this way: after many hours of looking you finally make contact with a seller.  After multiple phone calls to a particular Craigslist seller, you form an attachment to that voice on the phone: that voice who talks to you about chickens and other items for sale, that voice who sets up a convenient rendevous in Maplewood relieving you of the burden of driving to St. Cloud, that voice who assures you that these chickens are worthy of an Easter basket.  By the time you drive all that way, and finally see your merchandise in person, you are emotionally committed. You can’t help but see  through your Craigslist-colored-glasses, and hardly anybody backs out.  (I’ve sold a few things myself this way).

Let me just say that Easter morning will definitely be surprising.  It won’t so much be “Happy Easter here is a baby chick” as it will be “Happy Easter here is a teenage hen (probably pooping) in your Easter basket”. The chicks are at that awkward stage. You know, when you have lost your fuzz, but only grown about half of your feathers.  We’ve all been there. They look more like little ostriches than anything else.

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When he handed off the chickens, Bryan the chicken farmer, also handed me 18 multi-colored eggs.  “To eat”, he said, “or incubate and they will hatch in 21 days.”

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I really had no choice but to swing by the school and pick up an extra incubator.  The eggs are incubating in our basement as we speak.

Now, on Easter morning I will be able to present the children with, not only, four teenage hens, but the also the great news that in 21 days we will have 22 chickens!  It’s all very exciting.

For me at least.  Not for Dan.  He didn’t protest too much.  Just shook his head and muttered, “This is not a chicken farm,” on his way out the door this morning.

We are not only hatching eggs this month.  We are also hatching Tonja. We have been incubating her in our basement for several weeks.  As you can see from the below photo of Tonja (with a little ostrich) we have been very successful! As the birth partner, I have been learning many things about the wonderful world of natural childbirth.  Something I have never chosen to enjoy myself, but find very interesting for others.

We will miss Tonja this week.  She is spending Easter with family in Albert Lea, Minnesota.  Hopefully, she will not have the baby without me.

I think that if Tonja has that baby in Albert Lea I will never speak to her again…

Until she brings her little chick home.  Then I will have to speak to her if I want to get my hands on him…which I do.

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