I love moving the babes from the brooder to their playyard. It reminds me of the first outside recess following many days of rains with preschoolers. First they test the ground, hunker down, then tear off in different directions, spreading their wings as far as they can, dare to run, trip over their own feet, scramble and take off again. Every fiber of their bodies insisting that movement comes before a plan of action, their goal only connect as closely and merge what they have to what is there, to participate. Their chirps and twirls are expressions of song which connect as proof that this slice of time is perfect; a gift, jump in, flying is worth the fall, try again! I cut up a plastic straw...who knew they could invent a combo game of volleyball/football/frisby/tag from it? I took an old pot and filled it with sand. A playground! Build concave sand dunes! Look! They conduct a meet and greet with the inquizative big girls on the other side of the wire. Are their eyes big? Katie puts her big wet doggy nose against the fence, her long jaws open, tongue hanging out, smile, eyes bright, tail trying hard to downgrade to a gentle wag. Every once in a while a chick will come close. Katie hunkers low to to ground, tries to push her front paws back, squirms to adjust her head to the ground, snout against the fence again. One more dare from the chicks to connect to Katie's nose. Katie moves nothing but one ear. Her eyes dart quickly from chick to me, lighting up again as if confirming, proudly, "Look at my babies!" They play, they sun, they pretend to be big girls, sometimes chest bumping once or twice, then go off to do something else more fun. They eat, play some more, cuddle and snooze in the shade. And like all children, once it is time to move them out, kick up a fuss, run away, gripe to no end. It's funny, but their brooder is kept in the laundry room. On the dryer. I didn't notice it until last night when I was finishing the laundry, but they didn't settle down until I tossed the last laundry in the dryer and turned it on. It was like hypnotic lullaby. Almost immediately they snuggled in and within two minutes, everyone was asleep. (yes, I use the heatlamp when they are in the brooder, so it wasn't becaue they were cold. The temp reading was right at 84 degrees). Between them and the older girls, who needs movies?