Sunday, August 5

Farm Photo 8/5/07: Mama Whitey and Her Brood

Mother as landing pad - Whitey and her 7 chicks on 6-14-07 -
Mother as landing pad

This gives a whole new meaning to 'letting your children walk all over you.' I took this photo back on June 14th, when Whitey's seven baby chicks were ten days old and beginning to figure out that if you flapped your wings, you could lift off the ground.

But the only place to set down once you were airborne was on mom's back, where the landing was soft but the terrain was uneven and slippery. This prime spot was highly coveted, and there were times when Whitey had two chicks wobbling on top of her while two or three others prepared to launch an invasion and claim the territory.

Whitey didn't seem to mind all this, apparently accepting it as simply one more thing that comes with being a mother.

I hadn't planned on putting up any more baby chick photos for a while, lest some of you who are more sheep/donkey/food/cat/whatever fans start to complain. But I changed my mind this morning when I brought Whitey and her little flock their first gourmet meal of the day.

The chicks go into a feathered frenzy every time I show up with food, chirping frantically while scurrying into the screened-in area where their wooden feed trough resides. As usual, I stood in the narrow doorway between the main chicken house and the dining room, bent over at the waist so I could empty the bowl of treats into the trough. I didn't do a head count first.

I heard flap! flap! flap! and felt a soft thunk.

There's a chicken on my back, I thought. Which was immediately followed by And I can't get a picture of it.

The feeling of having something jump onto my back while bent over wasn't completely unfamiliar, as the 4-1/2 pound Doodle Monster often uses me as a landing pad, though she usually swoops down from some higher perch rather than flying up from the ground. (Life with Molly Doodlebug is sort of what I imagine living with a demanding flying squirrel would be like.)

I contemplated the situation for a couple of seconds and then wiggled my back a little. The chick didn't budge. I turned my head around so I could look at it, wondering at the same time how long I could stay in this position and what in the world this chicken was thinking.

After a few more seconds it flapped back onto the ground behind me, then raced toward the treats as soon as I unblocked the doorway.

I didn't mind any of this. It was simply one more thing that comes with being a farmgirl. But I do wish I'd managed to get a picture.

Just tuning in to Whitey Watch? Click here and scroll to the bottom to begin at the beginning.

©, the always full of surprises foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares photos & stories of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. How cute - the chicken family day in the farm!

  2. Great story, FG! Love the chick pictures! And all the rest of your menagerie, of course!

  3. Love it!!! I wish you could have taken a picture too.

    How cute that the chicks do a little happy dance for you when they see you coming.

  4. That's hilarious! I just love it!

  5. This is a fabulous action shot of chicken fun!
    Sara from farmingfriends

  6. Now, I simply can NOT understand this. You, who are skilled in every task you put your hand to, cannot take a picture of your back? I thought you'd be able to gracefully turn your head, your arm, your hand (which ALWAYS has the camers, correct?) and snap that lovely chicken happening. Where IS your sense of responsibility to your readers?


  7. I'll be the first to say I never tire of chick pics... but Cary has been on my mind lately. :)

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  9. I've become adept at sticking the camera lens behind me or in whatever direction the interesting cat/chicken happens to be doing, and then pressing the button. It works 85% of the time, by my estimates. :-)

    Thanks for the update, FG!

  10. The chick posts and pics have been absolutely wonderful. How adorable they are.

  11. This is absolutely my favourite photograph from your blog...maybe from any perfectly wonderful :) and thank you for sharing

    (I just got Mr G to agree to my havin' chickens!!!! now I have to pick out/design a, mean a "coop"...I'm just about beside myself :)

  12. Please keep posting the chick pics. I've been coming back often since I first read about Whitey's eggs hoping to see more pictures and see how the different little babies grew into different chickens.

    More, more, more! :)

  13. I second what others have said . . . keep posting shots as these little guys grow and grow and grow. I enjoyed this photo and the story that went along with it.

    I've learned not to stoop over when I'm taking care of my birds. One of my males used to try to take advantage of the situation, if you know what I mean. Sheesh!

  14. This is too cute. I love hearing about Whitey and her babies she so longer for.


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