The Girls

By: Ellie Sophia / Aug 11, 2020

  • One week old

    One week old

  • Two weeks old

    Two weeks old

  • Three weeks old

    Three weeks old

My post are usually full of other people’s beloved pets but this post is more personal. Long before all our lives got turned upside down because of COVID, our family had preordered chicks to be delivered mid-April. Once the pandemic hit I considered cancelling the order because I didn’t know that the timing was best. You see our family was one of the first hit with the virus in the state. Only weeks after Indiana reported it’s very first case, my husband’s father and brother started having symptoms. Soon after both ended up at the hospital and from there a very long fight for their lives began. That was when our chicks were due to arrive and it was the last thing on my mind. We picked them up as scheduled though and they ended up being a great distraction. When your family is hospitalized for COVID, it’s not what you expect. For them every minute is a battle but for you, every minute is a waiting game. There is no communication with someone on a ventilator and there are no visits to check in on them. If you are lucky, as we were, you hear from a nurse or doctor once a day. So our stress was high but there wasn’t much to do but wait. The chicks helped fill those long gaps of time.

When our four Road Island Reds arrived, we realized quickly that it was going to be really hard to tell them apart.  Soon I just started calling them "The Girls" and it stuck.  Those first few days I loved watching them fall asleep,  it's very entertaining. As one friend described, they are like drunk sailers, they just pass out and fall asleep headfirst. It’s a little startling truth be told. It only takes a week before they start changing from their cute fluffy down coat to feathers. At first it’s subtle then it’s a little mangy. Their personalities start to take root too, at first a little curious then eventually full out sassy. After about a month, they can finally go outside and watching them try to navigate grass becomes another adventure. Chickens establish a very strong pecking order and introducing the new girls to our older hen was a whole other adventure. If not done properly, it can be fatal for the young ones. So we took care to only give them a few minutes together at first. Eventually we gave them more time but kept a protective fence between our hen and girls, so they could see each other but still were safe. Little by little they got more time together until everyone knew their place. Our older hen just needs to give the girls “the look” and they take off running, but otherwise they tolerate each other well. Eventually we moved the girls from the house to the garage and finally from the garage to the coop. Documenting the girls through out their journey was just what I needed. I would sit outside for hours “babysitting” them. My heart was heavy and yet still full of joy.

Now with the chicks almost full grown and looking forward to them starting to lay in the next month, a lot has changed. Our family has had 5 confirmed COVID cases, with 4 requiring hospitalization and 3 requiring ventilators, but all survived. The experience taught me to take every precaution when it comes to this virus but it also taught me to slow down and enjoy each day. That has shaped my personal decisions and also my business decisions. Whereas I am keeping my commitments to my previously booked weddings, I am no longer booking any new weddings or large events. I am instead focusing my efforts on small safe outdoor photoshoots as well as throwing myself into my biggest passion: pet photography. Although I will always make room for a variety of photography, I think where I stand out the most is my pet photography. Although I was named one of the top 7 pet photographers in the city, my goal is still to become the premium fine art pet photographer in the state. Taking a little time to enjoy the chicks and challenging myself with photographing them only renewed my enthusiasm for that goal.

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  • Four weeks old

    Four weeks old

  • Five weeks old

    Five weeks old

  • Six weeks old

    Six weeks old

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