So it's time to treat the babies as chickens. After all, they look like small editions of the Ladies, they eat like pigs, and they can fly. That's why, at dusk last night, I was seated in the big pen, beside the babies' blocked-up-to-prevent-escape igloo, surrounded by the tools of torture. One by one, I reached in and pulled out a screaming baby, flopped it on its back, and - gasp! - clipped its wing feathers. Oh! Murder most fowl! Agony! Despoliation of dignity! Separation from siblings! Being outdoors in the dark! Undoubtedly someone called the police. Then I did the unthinkable - I put colored bracelets around every ankle so I can figure out who's who. (The sole exception is the funny-colored one with green legs - she's pretty distinctive.) As each one's torment ended, I put it gently on the ground. They took off peeping tragically into the dark unknown. By the time I was done 2 had come back, looking for comfort in their familiar igloo. I heard peeps from the general area of the Ladies' dorm - two babies had fled into the jaws of their mortal enemies and were cowering in nest boxes. Fine. That's where they spent the night. But one - the worst howler and most outraged of the bunch (I think it's a rooster) - was missing. Armed with a flashlight I found he'd chosen to hide between a log and a fence - perfect positioning for death at the paws of a raccoon or weasel. Had to chase him through the dark pen to get him to safety. (Note: If you ever have to do this, immobilize the chicken in a pool of light, then sneak up out of the dark and grab its tailfeathers. They freeze like a deer in the headlights.) When I snagged him it was a high-volume tale of massacre all over again. He didn't even have the grace to apologize when I put him gently into the igloo with the others. All was forgiven, if not forgotten, with the appearance of breakfast plates this morning. A word of advice: Don't do this wearing shorts. My legs look like I ran full-tilt through a briar patch.