I keep waiting for the story of this broody adventure to be about cute fluffy chicks. Instead, I keep getting one disaster after another.
I found this when I went to take Abby off her next for the morning. Today is Day 18. Tomorrow would be ‘lock down’ and I wanted her to have one more day of sunlight and a chance to stretch her legs.
I don’t really know what happened, but I can guess. Abby didn’t leave the next at all yesterday, but when I was checking eggs in the afternoon, there was a new pullet in the bed next to her. They don’t usually choose the beds next to Abby because Abby likes the higher boxes. Everyone else chooses the lower beds, but I found Lola right next to Abby in the corner box.
If Lola started on the other side and checked other beds, she could havewalked over top of Abby and caused something like this.
Now… to the Good… the baby is still alive in there. I can see the membrane rising and falling. That’s breathing and movement. I put it back under Abby. I don’t really know what else to do.
I don’t have an incubator, and I don’t have the money to run out and buy one. Even if I did, I don’t have time to set up, learn not to screw it up, and put the egg in. So it’s back under momma for the time being.
I did ask the lady who sold me the eggs what she thought I should do. I could attempt to help it hatch the rest of the way, or leave it go and see what comes naturally.
Of course, today I’m going to be out of town and not home most of the day. So whatever advice she has for me will be left unfollowed until later on today or tomorrow.
Today is Day 18. “Lock down” is tomorrow. I expect to see chicks Wednesday at the latest,until something else happens.
I’m praying nothing else happens. I already feel so bad.
Well, now that my Littles are getting bigger and have all their feathers, we’ve been busy devising a way for them to use the run and go outside on nice days -if we ever GET ANY nice days this Spring – and still keep them relatively safe.
I have, in occasion, brought a couple of them outside at the same time as the Big Flock and it was … Interesting. Peanut and Lola antagonized a couple of the older hens and then freaked out when the hens tried to defend themselves.
I am unsure if the older girls would have hurt them had I not been supervising, because they did not hurt Pip even after Abby stopped defending him. Mostly they chased, lunged and left him to run away.
Would they have attacked them? I don’t know because all interactions have been supervised.
However, as the Littles get bigger and it gets (hopefully) warmer, they deserve to go outside and be safe.
We first thought to simply split the run into two unequal halves.
But then I thought – why not tunnels? We could put s border of tunnels around the existing run, and add a second chicken door into the ‘grow up coop.’ This would allow the Littles to go outside and remain safe from not only the older chickens but also from predators who might seek to make a snack out of a small chicken.
It’s not done yet, and won’t be done until next weekend, mostly because DH has to go out of town, but the tunnels themselves are done. We let some of the chicks check it out, and they seemed to like it.
Every morning now, Matilda and Peanut will sit on the top perch and stretch their necks to peek over the top of the brooder and see … whatever they can see. Sometimes, one of them will jump out and sit and watch me work. Matilda likes to do that the best. She’s a very curious girl, and had very keen eyes. I can tell she is thinking lots of things.
She’s going to have a lot to think about this week. Tomorrow, Dad and I will be hanging the door between the main coop and the ‘grow up coop’ so that they will be able to move in soon.
There’s a lot still to be done. Before the hanging, I need to clean the coop and remove all the old ‘deep litter’ and straw, and give the side the little ones will be in a good cleaning. There are also new curtains to be hung on both sides.
Dad did a minor tweak to the laying boxes, as well. He added a couple of inches to the front of the boards, thus making the beds a little deeper.
I am hoping this will help keep the straw in the next and not so much on the floor, as well as provide a more comfortable nesting environment for the hens who are laying eggs.
I don’t know if you can tell from these pictures, but they really do look deeper in real life:
After the split, I’ll be adding straw to all the laying boxes. We didn’t use the bottom rows last year. Now that they’re deeper, I hope they will start. Might add some plastic eggs to them to encourage the thought.
More pictures when I get coop cleaned out and the curtains hung. 🙂
Here we have… Candy, Stacey, Matilda, Peanut, Lola & Scarlet… aka the Mystery Bin Chicks.
At Week 3, they’re looking a little scruffy as their feathers come in. Peanut is still my diva, still the boss. I foresee trouble when we integrate because my Abby Girl is the boss of the older hennies. Peanut is going to have fall in line or suffer the consequences. Abby doesn’t even guff from our rooster!