Baby chicks!

CL makes chickens now.

click to enlarge Intern Lis poses with the chick. Interns are like baby editors, so she's like a chick (but not in the way that upsets women when you call them chicks). - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
Intern Lis poses with the chick. Interns are like baby editors, so she's like a chick (but not in the way that upsets women when you call them chicks).

We're making chickens.

For realsies.

No, this isn't part of some urban legend involving KFC making chickens in a lab. It's part of the Hatch the Chicken thing, where you can rent eggs and watch them hatch. Since we all secretly harbor dreams of the pastoral (but not enough to, you know, actually set up a coop or live in the country), we thought we'd try it out.

click to enlarge They. Poop. Everywhere. But still, super damn cute, right? - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
They. Poop. Everywhere. But still, super damn cute, right?

The first step: Meet the parents. OK, so we didn't actually do this, but Beau Coop brought in two other silkies so we could see what our eggs would one day be. And yeah, they're pretty fucking cute. They look like Muppets. Muppets that poop everywhere, that is.

click to enlarge Name this Muppet. Seriously, we can't remember which Muppet had hair like this... - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
Name this Muppet. Seriously, we can't remember which Muppet had hair like this...

Beau Coop also offers Rent the Chicken, where people who think they may want chickens can rent a couple — and the entire coop setup — for several weeks. As someone who had a surrogate chicken mama (which means I paid for the chicks, hen-sat while she went on vacation and gave her money for feed — all in exchange for eggs) because I didn't want to deal with chickens trashing my yard (also, I have a dachshund, which would have meant I would have had no chickens in short order), I highly suggest anyone who thinks they might want backyard chickens try this out.

click to enlarge How do they even see where they're going? - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
How do they even see where they're going?

Chickens in rescues are also an issue — it isn't all fresh eggs and cuddly chicks, according to people I know and this Forbes article — so it's probably not a horrible idea for prospective chicken owners to do their research and try a few chickens on for size.

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Step two: Incubate the eggs. Beau Coop brought us an incubator, fertilized eggs, and all the stuff you need once they hatch. This step, in reality, is pretty boring: watching eggs in an incubator is like watching grass grow. We did have some excitement candling the eggs for signs of life, but we're in the final two days now, so we can't even do that anymore.

click to enlarge There's a baby in there. Really. - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
There's a baby in there. Really.

Step three: Watch the eggs hatch. Stay tuned as this happens — we'll keep you up to date with the latest chicken news. Our incubator tells us the chicks should hatch Thursday, which is also our publication day, so we'll publish a paper and have new chicks on the same day. We're pretty sure the chicks should look like this when they're done:

click to enlarge Cutest. Chick. Ever. - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
Cutest. Chick. Ever.

Step four: Tweet about it. Because, you know, if you don't put it on social media, it didn't happen. Follow the saga of the silkies here.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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