Saturday, August 25, 2007

Farm Report 08-25-07

We didn't want any baby chicks this year, and have not allowed any of the hens to hatch any out. But despite our best efforts to control our fowl population, a few of the sneaky bantams succeeded in hatching some babies.

The first one was one of the grey hens. She hatched out one chick in the woods. One morning just when I was about to open the hen house door to let them all out, I heard this peeping noise at my feet. I had almost stepped on this tiny chick. The mother was trying to bring it in to the coop to feed it.

It's cute, but we think it's going to be a rooster, so I don't know how long it's going to last.

Then about two weeks later, I'm working at my computer and faintly in the distance, I hear the sound of peeping new born chicks. I followed the sound into the tool shed/shop. that building has a cat door, and one of the bantams had gone in there and made a nest. She hatched two babies; they were lost amid the tools; she was running around outside, frantic.

I think she was wanting to get them into the coop, but could not get them to follow. Also, there was a lot of broken shells in there, and the cat was looking quite contented, so perhaps the pussy had something to do with abbreviating the hen's family. I don't know for sure, I didn't find any body-parts.

New born bantam chicks are extra-small, and therefore extra cute, making it extra-hard to just leave them there as fresh catfood. So I put them in an old rabbit cage.

We didn't want them, but here they are. So we are going to let the mothers raise them, if they can. No heat lamps, no fancy measures to keep them alive. If the mommies can raise'em, they can keep'em.

So far they seem to be doing a pretty good job. They have even taught the chicks to jump up on perches already.

I thought baby chicks were very delicate, but these moms let them out in cold mornings and windy days, and they seem to do fine.

In these pictures they are already a few weeks old; they were as small as my thumb when they were born.

Right now, they are partitioned off from the general population; I don't know at what point I should let them join all the others. The grey chick already sleeps on a perch with it's mother. The nights are getting colder, and they would be warmer sleeping with the other birds. I think we will have to try to intergrate the grey mother and baby soon. We'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

Walker said...

LIfe finds a way! (guess what movie that was from)