It wasn't until Friday, when I glanced at the calendar on our fridge that I realized...my babies aren't babies anymore. They are past the one-month mark. Fully feathered. Fuzzless. Old enough, in fact, to move outside.
I think that, subconsciously, I've been preparing for the separation. Now, I don't want you to think I don't love the chickens anymore, because I do. They are still fascinating creatures. But the feeling is less intense, much more in line with how I feel about my cats. More like a normal human/pet interaction, rather than like a crazy chickenlady obsession interaction.
Last week, I was worried that I'd be too sad to move the chickens out. I went so far as to consider paying an exorbitant amount of money to get a couple of exotic Seramas, a miniature chicken breed that is a common house pet in Malaysia. The babies are roughly the size of a nine-volt battery; the adults only slightly larger than a can of coke. I reasoned that at that size, I could keep them in my office year-round so that I wouldn't have to surrender all chickenlove once I moved the egg flock to the backyard.
But this week, I have no such desire. Like a parent with a college-aged child, I'm now looking forward to reclaiming my office, getting my space back, not having to deal with the clutter and mess of my temporary adolescent residents.
Yes, the time has come to MOVE THE FLOCK OUT. Today Lady Yupa, Calcifer, Yakul, Totoro, and Kiki will relocate to Chicken Itza, the beautiful pastel-painted poultry palace in our backyard. There they will stay, locked up, for at least 48 hours, so that they can imprint upon their new digs as "home."
And I'm okay with that.
The season of obsessive chicken-love has come to an end. But I can't regret my month-long chickenmoon. I feel incredibly fortunate to have garnered so much satisfaction from my time with the six little balls of fluff. How often do we encounter something in life that gives us so much unexpected pleasure?