A Double Handful of Chicks in a Takeout Container
I recently had a prophetic dream involving chickens. Buckle up, you'll want to hear this.
In my dream, I am moving chickens from inside a house (why?? who knows) to mobile chicken sheds or chicken tractors out on the lawn of my parents' house. There were a dozen or so grown hens but also a double handful of little chicks that needed to be rehomed. Possibly I’m the only one who measures chicks in handfuls, but this detail becomes relevant later on in the dream so remember it.
For reasons unknown to me, it was my job to help move these chicks into permanent quarters in the yard. I’m not sure why any of these chickens were in a house in the first place, but in the dream that was the least of my otherwise significant concerns, so we’ll move past that to the chicks.
These were little little chicks, just a day or two old and covered in fuzz. They were barely bigger than ping pong balls, and like I said, there weren’t very many of them. They were in a box, but dream logic dictated I find another way to transport them outside. I had a styrofoam takeout container (don’t ask why, I couldn’t tell you) and packed all the chicks inside. With the lid closed, it was perfect for chick transportation. (At least in dreams. I have yet to test this theory in real life.)
Up to this point, the dream has been pretty tame—there’s a lot of chickens and the premise of the dream is questionable, but dream logic doesn’t start to spiral out of control until I take the chicks outside and start looking for their cage.
Bit of relevant background for you: we frequently have chicks at our house, usually in the spring. We buy them when they’re little little and keep them in a dog kennel in the garage under a lamp until they’re big enough to move outside (and it’s warm enough they won’t freeze). When I say I was looking for the chicks’ cage in this dream, what I was actually doing is hunting for our black metal dog kennel. We bought it years and years ago when we were raising a puppy in our laundry room. Now that all our dogs weigh over 50 pounds, the kennel is used for lame roosters and tiny chicks.
This is the contraption I’m looking for (excuse the laundry in the background).
Except I can’t find it.
I'm also distracted because my hands are full of living chicken takeout. In the dream I look around and find this plastic half-bushel bin that’s conveniently lying around. In real life we have a lot of these bins. We generally use them for hauling apples or sweet corn. The bin is plenty big enough to hold a double handful of tiny chicks and deep enough they couldn’t jump out. Even looking back from outside the dream, I feel like dumping the chicks into the bin was a super rational decision.
Dream logic said that was NOT the case. This is also where things began to become super stressful.
I left the chicks for like two seconds to set up the kennel and when I turned back around, they had multiplied like popcorn. The bin was filled to the brim with a heaving mass of chicks. They kept trying to jump over the rim to crash land on the grass. I ran back and started grabbing chicks and chucking them back into the bin a handful at a time. It was like bailing out a boat, except the opposite of bailing because everything wanted out of the “boat”, not back in.
This is also the point in the dream when I realize it’s apparently nighttime. I’m double fisting chicks in the dark. Again, the precise details of why I am doing this were unclear, but the urgency of the matter increased exponentially as more and more chicks started jumping out of the bin.
I had two worries at this point.
First, that the chicks would squash each other. There were so many chicks stacked on top of each other, the ones at the bottom had to be getting squashed. You know how a takeout container has little pockets so you can separate your rice from the salad? Back when there had just been a double handful of chicks, I had put the tiniest chicks in one of those pockets all by themselves, a side order of chicken nuggets. I was pretty sure those chicks would have slid right to the bottom of the bin and were getting trampled by everybody else. What I really wanted to do was reach into the bin and rotate everybody over so the little guys were on top, but I didn’t have time—there were too many chicks.
The other thing I’m worried about is how I’m going to get these chicks in the kennel. I’ve got it halfway set up, but I’m suddenly realizing a major flaw. The kennel was built for dogs, so the gaps between the wires are plenty wide enough for chicks the size of ping pong balls to just squirt out and run away. Normally when we keep chicks in the kennel, we line the sides with cardboard. I don’t have any cardboard handy and I’m too busy un-bailing chicks to get any.
So I start yelling for help. (Honestly should have done that a while ago, but dream Lydia and real life Lydia both like to do it by ourselves).
Apparently there were people helping me with poultry-relocation duty, but they turn out to be no help at all. They can’t find any cardboard and they won’t help me keep up with my overflowing bin of chicks. I keep sitting there, yelling pointless instructions and scrambling for chicks in the dark.
This went on for some time, which caused me to feel a sense of helplessness and mounting panic. Finally the stress got so bad I woke up with a jolt and realized it was four in the morning. I proceeded to stay awake for at least another hour, haunted by visions of escaping chicks.
Relating this dream to my mom the following morning, I couldn't decide what any of that nonsense was supposed to mean. Mom had a pretty good idea, though.
I’m graduating college in 26 days. Which, yay, good for me.
But also, yes, mounting panic. And (apparently??) a half bushel of chicks.