I usually like rainy summer days. There's something satisfying about seeing wet alfalfa glistening in the morning sun or watching a healthy river current wind downstream.
There's an exception, however. I hate rain in early June. That, of course, is when most poults hatch here in Wisconsin, and heavy, prolonged rains can spell doom for many of the new arrivals.
I've been especially worried this year because it's rained quite a bit the past few weeks. Wisconsin's hatches were down somewhat in 2008 and 2009, and I was hoping this year might reverse the trend. The weather seemed to indicate otherwise.
But then hope arrived this morning. As I turned onto a town road on my way to work, a hen popped up in the ditch. Sure enough, at least 10 little fuzzballs — probably less than a week old — followed behind her.
Of course, most of those tiny poults won't make it, but some will. In a few weeks, they'll be jakes and jennies, and in a couple of years, they'll be gobblers and hens. Heck, in Spring 2012, I'll probably cursing their bad behavior. I hope so.
Stay warm and dry, little poults. We're all pulling for you.