What a morning for these five day old chicks. When their mother tries to lure them through a stream, they panic. The water is too deep for them. Separated from her, the chicks chirp loudly, begging her to come back. One even falls into the stream, and valiantly struggles up the steep bank. Others clamber over a mountain of a bush to reach their mother.
After the wild and terrifying adventure for these chicks, they get a well deserved rest under their mother’s warm feathers.
I laugh when I read of those raising chicks in broilers talk about enrichment programs for their chicks. These enrichment programs consist of providing bales of hay, perches, and objects for the chicks to peck. They certainly don’t include outdoor adventures such as fording streams or trying to keep up with Mother as she forages through rangeland.