Sunset

By Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher

Hang on to your hay bales, everybody: Sunset's got chickens. Chicks. Six of 'em.

This morning, we took Highway 92 over the northern ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains to Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel. There, the ever-helpful manager, Robin Camozzi, helped us pick out the World's Cutest Chicks Ever. In the whole world.

Two Rhode Island Reds, two Buff Orpingtons, two Ameraucanas. Four of them are 9 days old, while the little Rhodies were just born on Tuesday. On Monday, they were still in their eggs!

They can't go outside yet (they need to get feathers first) so we've set up a home for them in our prop shed. Li'l chickies are living in a cage among the lawn furniture, backdrops, and closets full of the dishes that you see in our photos. They've got an infrared heat lamp to keep them toasty as they grow, and they've gotten lots of visitors today.

So far, they don't mind being picked up. We're trying to give them lots of gentle human contact so they'll be sweet as they get older. Robin showed us how to lay them on their backs, cradling them in our hands, and stroke their little downy tummies until their legs stretch out and their eyes close and they're lulled to sleep. (Who knew?) She also warned us that chicks are kind of wobbly and dopey, so they may go to sleep in uncomfortable positions that will make us think that they might have expired. (Chick attrition is our greatest fear.)

You'll get pictures as soon as our photographer extraordinaire, Spencer Toy, can process them. Monday, people. You'll have to wait till Monday to see our little fluffballs. But it'll be worth it — promise.

Weird, adorable things about chicks:
1. Their eyelids come up from the bottom (freaky!)
2. Their cheeping is so ridiculously high a human can't even imitate it.
3. Their arrival can cause an entire office of normally reasonable adults to abandon their work (briefly!) to peek in at them.

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