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Posts Tagged ‘heat lamps’

“The chicks are growing so fast, we can’t keep them in the pool!” Tammi reported on the phone while I was in Greenville, SC on business.  “I had to put up chicken wire in the hearth.”

I immediately had visions of chicken wire stapled to our ancient fireplace — filled with chirping birds and newspapers full of droppings.

“Uh — ok,” I said.

“Oh, don’t worry,” replied Tammi, sensing my anguish.  “They are still in the pool — but I added a cover for them.”

“I guess it’s time to move them,” I said.

Upon my return that week, the wife, Gertie and I drove in the F-150 to Tractor Supply.  I thoroughly enjoyed riding with my wife and my dog in my pickup truck, driving down 174, through Boiling Springs, and then up Bonnybrook Road to the store, just south of Carlisle.  The whole experience felt like a country song in the making —

Drivin’ my F150

Wife at my side

Dawgie in the back

Goin’ for a ride

Down to the Tractor

Suuuuppply!

Oh Lawdy, it’s enough ta make yew cry!

I immediately turned up some metal on 105.7 the X — banishing the rural country demon to the nether reaches of my brain.  Where did that come from?

“OK,” I began, “We’re going to need some heat lamps.”

“Are you sure it will be enough?” worried Tammi, concerned about the night temperatures in the 30’s.

We had planned to move the chickens into the enclosed room in the pig sty.  It had been somewhat insulated and provided a nice 8 x 8 pen for the chicks.  We walked into Tractor Supply — what has to be the greatest little store on the planet for neophyte farmers like ourselves — and immediately found an endcap full of heat lamps!

“Looks like we’re not the only ones needing these things,” I said, comforted that I was not the only one lacking a source of heat for my little birds.

We grabbed two lights and four bulbs – just in case – and headed home.  We spread hay on the floor of the pen and mounted the lights.   We then set the feeder and water bottle in the middle and transferred the rapidly increasing peeps.  They went right to the heat lamps and fell asleep.

“Do you think they’ll make it through the night?” asked Tammi, almost wanting to stay with them.

“Oh yeah – sure – don’t you worry about them. They’ll be fine.”  I reassured her like a doctor talking to a terminal cancer patient.  It was another one of those moments when I acted real confident, even though I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen.  I fell asleep with visions of little white birds frozen in place staring out at me through unmoving black eyes – like the end of The Shining when Jack Torrance (Nicholson) gets lost in the maze during a blizzard – or like that scene in Guyana when Reverend Jim Jones forced all of those people to drink the Kool Aid – little white birds laid out like a quilt of cotton — neatly arranged in rows — just as they fell asleep…

“They’ll be fine…” I whispered to Tammi as she nodded off.

I didn’t sleep much that night.

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