There should have been chickens.
Today was the day when Lauren’s shipment of chicks was supposed to arrive for her 4H Poultry project. She’s been looking forward to this for weeks, counting down the days until we could have several dozen cat snacks in the basement for as long as it took the survivors to get big enough to take out to our friend Lois’ farm. It’s even marked in bright colorful letters on the calendar: “Chicken Day!”
The hard winter we’ve had this year has wreaked havoc upon all sorts of things, ranging from heating budgets to the general ability of climate change deniers to come to grips with the concept of an average. Add chickens to that list. Apparently when the weather gets that cold there are a few things that chickens prefer not to do, which is strange since you would think that this one in particular would be a good way to keep warm. Maybe chickens don’t work that way. I don’t know. There are certain things I prefer not to think about any further in my life, and that's one of them. But in any event, the net result for eagerly anticipating 4Hers is a chicken shortage.
We seem to have weather problems with prospective 4H animals a lot here. It took us a while to get Lauren’s new rabbit because the severe heat a couple of summers ago led to a similar shortage of rabbits. I understand that a bit better. When it’s 108F outside, being anywhere close enough to correct that sort of problem in the long run is just sticky and uncomfortable.
Maybe the chickens just can’t sit still long enough to hatch an egg when it gets as cold as it did this winter. Who knows?
All we know is that there are no chickens today.
There is a swap meet for chicken folks coming up in a few weeks, though, and perhaps there will be chickens enough there to go around.