Our First Chick reported on last week turned one week old on Friday:
It's wing feathers are starting to show, and it's already quite tame. Now it just needs some siblings to keep it company.
In the past week, I tried to save a Bantam chick that got crushed in it's egg a few days too soon before it was ready to hatch. I put it in a small incubator, it lived for a few days, using up it's yoke sack, but it then died anyway. Another Bantam chick was born in the coop yesterday, and I took it out before nightfall.
This is the reason I remove chicks from their trashy moms:
The Bantams like to crowd together in the nest boxes. There are four in this box. A fifth one climbed in soon after I took the photo. The larger pullets like to climb in with the Bantams and lay their eggs in the Bantam's nests too. As a result, eggs and chicks can get crushed. You can see Bantam #5 climbing in on the left:
The hens on the other nests are full sized pullets. They often sit on eggs in the morning but usually abandon them by the afternoon. In the photo below, you can see the empty nest boxes available, but the Bantams crowd together anyway.
The hen in the lower left corner is our Chinese Coachen. Of all our hens, she is the most reliable sitter for hatching out eggs. Some of the Bantams succeed, but it's hit or miss with them. Our most reliable Bantam from last year went out into the woods to make a secret nest, and probably got eaten by something.
We've had a rat problem that's been too big for the cat to handle alone, so "Victor" and I have been giving her a little help:
Some folks imagine that living on a farm is like a "Dr. Dolittle" movie. But the reality is, there are some critters you just can't waste time talking to.
And that's the end of this week's FARM REPORT.