By Margo True, Sunset food editor

Recently our chicks had some visitors who were nearly as cute as they are (okay, maybe cuter). The guests arrived by buggy caravan from a nearby preschool, pushed by their smiling teachers and wearing matching blue T-shirts that came down to their knees. Immediately they toddled up to the coop and clutched the chicken wire, straining to see the flock inside.

Our test garden coordinator, Ryan Casey, knew just what to do. He hauled out the more obliging of the two Buff Orpingtons and knelt down with her so all the kids could see. “Glgdhh!” said one. Mainly, there was silence. Rapt staring. A few tentative touches. One excitable youngster grabbed the chick’s foot hard, but quickly let go. Our chick, bless her, tolerated it all.

Child-minutes are like dog years, and after 20 minutes or so, the teachers wound up the visit. “Say bye-bye to the chickens,” one said. The kids went back in the buggies and wheeled off down the street for a snack and a nap.

Chickens relaxing post-visit.

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