One of the core tenants of my belief system in running the farm is freedom. It’s why we named the farm Libertas Acres and it’s why we spend money building fences to keep the chickens where we don’t want them instead of restricting them to a specific area. It’s why we spent hundreds of dollars replacing mulch with rocks when landscaping the front of the house.
We want the animals to live as natural a life as possible. Sometimes that means letting nature take its course, even when we really want to intervene.
I have already intervened too much over the last few days. It was mostly out of selfishness and curiosity – I wanted to see a chick hatch, I wanted to see what the second generation of little chickens looked like. The hens were letting newly hatched chicks die, yes, but they seemed to have figured it out by the time I took the last two.
I don’t have high hopes for the chicks being hatched. I’m doing what I reasonably can to help – the hens sat in the old horse trough we keep in the coop and while that has protected the eggs while they were sitting, the chickens now have no way to get to food and water. I’ve put food and water in the trough to help the hens get their babies food and water. Whether the hens think to show the chicks the food and water or if they will find it on their own I have no idea. I hope they do! I hope I am wrong and the chicks thrive and in four months I’m wondering that the heck I’m going to do with all these birds.
(Seriously, what the heck am I going to do with all these birds?!)