Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chick Update

Thanks for all the kind comments and emails of congratulations on the new chicks. They are still adorable and I am still loving them.

The chicks woke me up around 2AM, chirping pretty loudly. I went in to check on them, and they were all huddled together under the heat lamp. I have a thermometer in there with them, but they like to stand on it, so I can never get a good reading. It's supposed to stay around 95 degrees for the first few days. I tested it several times in the past couple of weeks to make sure it was at the right height and it stayed at a steady 95 degrees. None the less, the weather got a bit cool last night, and I suspect the brooder got cooler too. I turned up the heat in the house, and went back to bed. They settled down.

When I got up at 5:30AM, they were completely silent. It scared me to death. I figured they had all roasted to death over night. I ran into the room, and they were sleeping very soundly. Whew. I did find one baby that didn't make it though. I guess the stress of the long trip here was just too much for her. I cried and cried about it, but I finally decided I could not have done anything to prevent it. Bernie and I buried her outside by the cat we lost last year (Reba).

Two more of the biddies are acting very weak and I noticed the other chicks would knock them over regularly as they zoomed by them. I put those two in a little box by themselves so they can hopefully get some rest and get a little stronger. I also put another healthy biddy in there with them, in the hopes that she would be company for them and help keep them warm. That didn't last long though. I walked out of the room for about 5 minutes, and when I came back in, the healthy biddy had hopped right out of that box and joined the others. I was fairly impressed as the height of the box is at least twice as tall as she is! So the two weak chicks are in Chick Intensive Care right now by themselves, and I really hope they pull through. I'll keep you posted.

Amazingly, the one little chick I posted the picture of yesterday that acted so weak, is doing quite well. She's a White Faced Black Spanish. The one that died was a Golden Penciled Hamburg. The two that are sickly are a Golden Penciled Hamburg and either a Phoenix or a Silver Leghorn - those two look so similar as biddies that I can't tell them apart yet.

I'll tell you one thing, biddies are little poop machines. I can't get over how much they poop. I'll be looking forward to some great compost as they get older! Until then, I guess I'll be cleaning a brooder on a very regular basis - and continue fussing at them for pooping in their food.

So that's the chick update for today. Even though I knew that I would likely lose one or two, it still makes me really sad. I hope the two little weaklings perk up soon. It's all I can do not to sit in a chair and hold them all night.

Bee Free,


Darrell said...

Congrats Mother Hen!
Maybe I'll send my daughters to you and let you worry over them for a bit... give me a vacation :)!

I'm in my 2nd week with Bank Of America. Great bunch of folks to work with and the boss is wonderful and a very good an concerned teacher and person.

GTG. Thinking of you and Bernie. Good wishes for all the chicks too, especially the weak ones. Wonder if Gatoraide is good for them? :)

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Gee, thanks for the offer, Darrell. As adorable as your girls are, I just don't think I need one more thing to worry over! I'm still not over worrying about Bernie's two!

Glad to hear you are enjoying the new job. They're lucky to have you. Try not to drive them crazy ;-)

I've been hand feeding the weak chicks some sugar water. I lost another last night. I hope I make it through this....

Take care,