Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Again? Seriously?

This started up last week:

Jeremy of course is beside himself with giddy joy. He is a crazy man. I'm actually surprised the mama didn't go crazy when I was filming her. I think her first or second day of broodiness she snapped at Jeremy when he opened the door on her. I had to pet her a little just to get her hackles to rise a bit. So, in another two weeks or so we'll have another bunch of chicks. I'm not sure how many she is sitting on - the other chickens haven't been able to kick her off like the last time. Actually, I'm not sure if this is the same hen or a different one.

This batch of hens will be one year old at the end of September and the first batch of chicks are just over 2 months now. Some of them are the same size as the silver leghorns; getting hard to tell them all apart.

We did lose one rather tragically last week. I was fiddling around in the yard and heard a chick sound that was unusual. Like someone was being picked on...a lot. I went to investigate and realized the sound was coming from inside the annex. I went in and peeked inside their little entry door. What I saw made me flip out and, luckily, gave me the dose of adrenalin power I need to lift the whole roof of the hen house and pull down the front wall so I could rescue the chick. She must have been attempting to roost on the ledge of the open window in the coop, fell, and got one foot caught in the opening of the window. I suspect it broke in her struggling. Then her lovely flock-mates came in and had pecked her head raw and bloody. Little savages.

The poor thing! I lifted her out and realized pretty quickly that there wasn't much we could do. I'm sure we could have patched up her head; but her leg was pretty bad and it didn't seem like she could hang on much longer. Thank goodness Jeremy had just gotten home from the farm. I did not want to wait long to take care of her and I didn't want to do the deed myself. I'm just glad I got to "rescue" her and comfort her for a moment before we dispatched her - instead of her dying in the coop being cannibalized by her siblings. Savage little beasts.

I've got a few more videos here for your viewing pleasure...or to pass the time if you don't have anything else to do. The first two were an attempt at getting a video of bedtime. I'm glad this phase is over. This would last for what seemed hours every night for weeks. Momma hen would wander around making her "y'all come to bed now" clucking sound and many chicks would follow. She head up the ramp, some would follow, some would go in; she'd go back for more, the chicks who went in came out; back and forth and so on. Then finally she'd go in and inevitably there would be 2 or 3 chicks left out that would suddenly realize mom was gone and they would peep miserably, and at the top of their tiny, not insubstantial, lungs. Many nights I'd go out and chase them around trying to coax them into the hen house with mom. It got really fun when they started escaping the run and I was chasing them around the yard half a dozen times a day. Grr. In one of the videos you can see a chick getting a piggy back ride from mom. ADORABLE. One of the cutest chick things I've ever seen.
Then the last one is from about two weeks ago, so they're much bigger - but still peeping away adorably. Enjoy! It seems like not much is going on around here of interest...well, perhaps it is...I just don't have time these days to blog about it!