>the skinny on sexing baby chicks and fruit flies


Last night I raced to the back of the local ranch store to pick up dog food for the pups. My plan to be in and out of the store in under five backfired because of these little guys..  .  . .  .  .
Actually, because of little guys like this:
It’s baby chick and duck season here.
Some folks want chickens for laying eggs
and some want chickens for the autumn hatchet.
Joe and Wally gave me a crash course in how to sex a baby chick.
Guaranteed to be about 80% accurate.
Take the chick by the scruff of its downy neck.
Suspend the chick in mid-air and watch what happens with its legs.
If the chick draws his legs up, he’s considered a rooster.
If the chick’s legs stay extended, she’s considered capable of laying eggs.
I watched a little cowtoddler handle the chicks while his older sister looked on.
Too bad they don’t give the girls bows, she said to her little brother.
*****     *****     *****
Before this life, I was a biology lab assistant in high school.
Three of us were assigned the trusted task of sexing the fruit flies.
It’s almost true, by the way, that fruit flies are extremely sexy—
they multiply faster than you can separate the boys from the girls.
My lab partners and I were good at prepping slide specimens, dissecting baby pigs,
growing carrots in sea water speckled with limedust from the stars.
Do you know what happens if someone leaves the trap door open
on the boy fruit fly cage and the girl fruit fly cage
 right before school closes for spring break?

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

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