Elaine Meinel Supkis
My baby chicks picked their way out of their blue egg shells. The people hatching them in Texas then put them all in a small cardboard box with some shavings to keep them warm and sent them, only a few hours old, to my farm in New York.
When I put them in their new home which is a big tub, they all ran out of their box, peeping and looking at everything. So much to see! They ran over to their water fountain and ran into it and out, getting everything wet. They ran into the nest and out of it, too.
They ran behind the box and began to cry, "I'm a lost chick! Save me!" at the top of their little lungs. "Cheep....CHEEP!"
I put some chick feed into their big tub and tapped it with my finger. Tap. Tap. Then I clucked like a mother hen. Suddenly, all the chicks decided I was their mother and they let me pick them up, move them around or rush over to me when I call them.
This is called "imprinting" and baby birds and lots of other animals will decide the first one to act like a mother, is mother. They then love you forever, which is a lot of fun. When these chicks who look like little chipmunks, grow up, they will come whenever I call and follow me all over the farm when I am working.
But they can't wander around alone!
The red fox visits our farm, too. She sniffs around for chicks to eat. And even more dangerous are the Red Tailed Hawks who have a big nest in the woods above the house. The two hawks have sharp eyes and they can see even small chicks in the grass.
They, too, have babies now for it is spring time and the eggs of the big birds are hatching and all the song birds are now here, robins have been patrolling the pastures, looking for bugs and every morning and evening, we can hear the chorus of birds in the hedges and trees, singing their hearts out, all of them are now building nests and laying eggs.
This is a nice time of year. It makes us all happy.