My chickens are not normal chickens. Or perhaps I’m not a normal chicken mother. I’m some sort of worrying, always fussing mother hen combination.
Either way, Hubby and I moved our 13 little darlings to their coop at 4 1/2 weeks old. They were just too big and smelly to be living in our spare bedroom anymore. I was convinced that I was OK with this. (More for the sake of my spare room than anything else). But then nightfall came and I didn’t sleep. At all. I stared out the window into the dark yard at the coop for hours at a time, only briefly sleeping before jumping back awake convinced some large mouthed monster had creeped into the fortress of a coop and stolen away my babies with one gulp. Of course this didn’t happen and all the chickie babies were fine come morning.
That first night Hubby and I had left their brooder box in the coop for emotional support. (I’m not sure if it was more for them or for us). We sat with them until they all fell asleep, then crept out like the dear loving parents we are. The second night was different. Hubby and I took out their brooder box, convinced that they should be ready to fully embrace life in the coop. They weren’t. They kept trying to dog pile on top of each other against the far wall of the coop, while making the saddest crying sound I have ever heard. To make matters worse we were due for a thunderstorm that night.
So with no more ado here is my recipe, if you will, to calm chicks during a thunderstorm.
Step 1: Stick them into a large sideways box filled with shavings. Hold the most upset chicken (the one that keeps disturbing everyone).
Step 2: Speak calmly until they start to look at you and listen.
Step 3: Pet the unruly chicken in your arms.
Step 4: Reassure, reassure, reassure! Everythings going to be fine, even though the rain is loud.
Step 5: Sing Jesus loves me as many times as it takes! (In my case it was 6 times)
Step 6: Keep trying to return unruly chicken to the bunch until it cooperates.
Step 7: Build up in front of the box with wood chips until you have achieved something that looks like the edge of a nest, while still speaking calmly/singing.
Step 8: Exit the coop when they’re finally all asleep.
Step 9: Remind yourself they’re chickens not children!