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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     Oh Spring, how we have missed you. Not only Spring, but with anticipation we have spent the Winter huddled in our homes awaiting Easter. Yes, Easter, with it’s dresses and bonnets, Cadbury Eggs and of course baby chickens.

     There was something exciting about this time of year growing up on the farm. My grandparents always had baby chicks and I know there were more than a few postmasters in the older days who would impatiently wait for the farmers to come to town to pick up their boxes of peeping yellow fuzzballs.

     As you know, Max has decided that he is going into the egg business, and after successfully completing construction of his coup, he has been a little impatient about the fact that there aren’t any chickens to fill it. So this past weekend, his sisters and I loaded up in the truck and headed to the farm store in Atlantic in search of all things baby chicky.

For those of you who have never enjoyed a Saturday morning at the farm store, I can best explain it as DSW for farmers. Everything one would need from a pair of coveralls to cow magnets can be found there and we walked inside to find the chicks huddled together in large silver livestock water tanks, basking in the warmth of the heat lamps.

     We stood for quite some time as the kids pondered which of these little creatures they would pick out to bring home, and then gingerly reached in to attempt to catch the exact one they had their eye on. This was no easy task as baby chickens are about as quick and crafty as bees and I laughed watching them pick each one out and place it tenderly in the “going home” box.

     Of course we had to have starter food, some chicken wire and a feeder and water jar, so with all those things and our two little boxes of eight baby chicks we made our way back out into the winterlike morning and into the pick up.

     For the most part the ride home was uneventful, although there was a momentary loss of control of my bowels as a scream came out of the back seat from one of the daughters before explaining that the chicks were pecking her hands out of the breathing holes in the cartons.

We had a plan once we got home that the chicks would go into the wash house to stay warm and grow (called brooding) for the next sixty days until they were ready to go outside to the coup. Of course upon getting home and seeing the sad puppy dog eyes of the children as they held their fuzzy friends in their hands, pleading with me to let them stay in the kitchen (the chicks…not the kids), I knew at that moment that it wasn’t going to do any good to argue with them.

     Upstairs an into the closet I found the plastic tub used to store winter blankets and within the hour the eight future egg layers were cheeping and jumping around on a bed of wood shavings enjoying the warmth of the house.

     As I drove home tonight from a meeting a few things came to mind. First, for all the things we buy our kids and all the electronics we use to keep them entertained, it still amazes me that it only took $25 worth of baby chickens to occupy them for the weekend. Secondly, it is important to remember that when you pull into the yard at night and see a red glow coming out of the kitchen windows, one should stop and remember that you are brooding chicks in the kitchen and that red glow is the heat lamp and not your entire kitchen on fire. And finally, that as great of a Dad that I might be right now, and as much fun as the kids had over the weekend…suddenly I have chores to do every day, which isn’t all bad, but probably should have been something I thought about a little earlier.

     See you next week….remember, we’re all in this together.