Peep show at Abundant Living

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

By Katie Scarvey
It’s pretty amazing how quickly a newborn baby chick goes from wet and wobbly and somewhat bedraggled looking to adorable fluffy peep-ness.
It’s one of nature’s miracles that never gets old. Just ask the clients at Abundant Living Adult Day Services — or the staff there, for that matter.
Barbara Garwood, the center’s executive director, hatched the idea with Rowan County extension agent Sara Drake. Staff member Lydia Johnson attended a training session at the extension office to learn how to take care of the eggs. She got a guidebook, a box of plastic growth cycle eggs for each day of the 20-day incubation period (to show what was happening inside the eggs), a small incubator and an egg turner.
On the last day of February, she picked up a dozen fertilized eggs to bring to Abundant Living, and on March 20 — the first day of spring — the chicks were breaking out of their protective shells — a process called “pipping.”
When all was said and done, 10 of the 12 hatched, and of those 10, eight survived. When they’re old enough, they’ll go home with a friend of Abundant Living who raises chickens.
The staff enjoyed the process as much as the clients.
“It’s been so much fun,” Johnson said.
Charles Doby, husband of client Opal Doby, took a peek as the chicks were still pecking their way out of the eggs.
“If you don’t love babies and old people, what would you be, an atheist?” he asked, smiling.
Client Sissy Griffin said she enjoyed having the chicks around.
“I think they’re cute,” she said — but added that she didn’t want to take them home.
“My Elvis would get after them,” she explained.
Elvis is Griffin’s shih tzu.
Bobby Wintrol gazed through the glass, mesmerized.
“That’s chicken in there,” he said.