So last night, I reported that Ashley’s chicks had vanished and were not in the coop, unable to be found and I was certain they were dead.
This morning, I went to the coop with a heavy heart, intending to feed and let the bigger chickens outside, go about my routine and then search for little yellow bodies in the wet grass. I was met by Dots and his sons crowing in unison, and the sound of Ashley buck-bucking because she still thought she was mother hen. I felt sorry for her because she didn’t realize she had lost her wee ones.
Outside, I heard chirping, but I thought it was wild birds enjoying the sunshine after yesterday’s rain.
So I filled the food dish to take outside and opened up the barn doors — and nearly dropped it when saw three little chicks on the steps. Miracle Max, one of the little spotted Dalmation babies, and the peachy-red one I’m calling Cinnamon Bun.
I reunited them, got them food and water, and went to send my DH and My Girl a text message so they would know the good news.
When I returned to the task of feeding the chickens, I found this…
He was standing on the steps with Pavel, cheeping and looking a little lost. I scooped him up and happily brought him to his mother and siblings.
I truly named Miracle Max correctly. I did not, could not hope for this ending to last night’s horror story. But there they are… all four babies, safe and sound.
I’m going to be observing Ashley. I know it’s hard taking multiple chicks outside for the first time. Abby had a difficult time with her six summer babies. They couldn’t negotiate the ramp, she couldn’t herd them all together. I found her several times sleeping with them on the steps. But it was raining last night and Ashley might erred on the side of ‘get out of the rain’ and didn’t realize her babies had not followed. Then it got dark in the coop and she tucked in for the night, got broody tranked and didn’t realize. This morning, she was flipping out buck-bucking. If they get a little bigger, they can do the ramp on their own without too much help.
But if she can’t take care of them, they might have to go to the brooder box for the next few weeks and Ashley may go on the “No Eggs Ever” list.
We’ll just have to see how the next couple of days go.