4 Down and 1 to Go!
In less than a week we now had 4 new chicks, all of them doing very well. We had 1 egg left in the box under the light and it was cracking. We could even see the chick moving in the little hole in the egg. Joe wanted to help the baby out by cracking the egg but I thought we should let nature take its course. When he helped chick no. 3 it took much longer for her to get up and going and I didn't want that to happen again.
Sadly, by the next morning, the chick was dead. In hindsight we wish we had helped it out the night before but perhaps there was something wrong with it and it would not have survived anyway. Then we would have thought it died because we tried to help it. As I said, we are new at this so maybe the next time things will go better. We did quite well with 4 out of 5.
Our other concern was still the chick in the box – chick no. 4 who I call Junior. Every day I'd get her out so she could walk around the milkhouse and get a little exercise but I couldn't let Gray near her. Red seemed like she'd be ok and would accept Junior but Gray was very mean. What would we do with Junior? We didn't want to make a new pen just for her and we really wanted her to reunite with her siblings.
It was a hard choice but after a few days we decided we had to eliminate Gray. Yes, that means we had to butcher her. She was old and a bit nasty so she wouldn't have been around long anymore anyway.
I've been on a farm for over 30 years and we milked cows for nearly 20 years so I'm used to animals coming and going. And when you raise 100 chickens for meat, you don't get attached to any of them. But when you only have a few and they are all unique, it's a different story.
Even though that was a tough choice, we knew by Sunday evening the choice was the right one. All of the babies, including Junior slept under their mama for the first time. 1 day later, they were all running around together; 1 happy family, getting along just fine. If Junior gets separated, it only takes her a few seconds to scamper back by the rest of the family.
|Junior Sleeping with Mama Red|
|Junior Sleeping with Mama Red||The Whole Family with Junior Sleeping under Red|
I think we are over the hump now. I think we are past the drama. Junior is a week old and the oldest is almost 2 weeks. Soon they won't be cute yellow and black fluff, but they will still be fun!