Thursday, September 1, 2011
NEW CHICKS ARRIVED TODAY AS WELL AS SOME HATCHLINGS
HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I got a nice doorbell ring this morning early from the USPS delivery of my 18 new babies...they arrived and it was already getting hot. I took them out to their new brooding home, removed each, dipped their beaks into the water fount to give them the idea to drink, then turned them loose to watch all those little things start stretching those legs and fluttering their wings. Those tiny bantam Mille Fleur d'Uccle chicks are so small that the larger standard chicks almost seem like a truck when they run into the little things. All are happy and enjoying the larger space now more than the shipping box tonight! In the bottom photo, you can see one of the tiny banty chicks that has fallen asleep. The truck trip from the hatchery wore them out I guess and after filling up on cool water, several heads were bobbing in a sleepy state....they were so sweet this morning!
And with the arrival of these chicks, I was out looking in on the little broody Mother, the Buff Orpington hen, Dorothy, and low and behold out pops 4 little heads from under her! Talk about a surprise...I did not expect anything to happen until late tomorrow or on Saturday even maybe into Sunday morning early. But what a big chick day. Unfortunately, during the hottest part of today, when we reached 100-degrees here in Jackson today, hatch # 5 was breaking out and had pecked its' way all around the shell but when I found it, it was too late and I think the heat did not allow the membrane to break completely on the inside of the shell and it had stopped moving when I found it. I tried rubbing it and even put it between my hands and blew on its face some, trying to revive it. I had been looking in every little bit and when I first saw it, it was still peeping with most of the shell still around it. Then the next time I looked, it was already gone. Then tonight here about 8:45pm I went to look at all the babies after returning from my Master Gardener monthly meeting and think I saw a tiny peck hole in another of the 3 remaining eggs. I cannot interfere with what nature will do and will just hope for at least another one or two hatches by morning or later tomorrow. We will see! Mama will be ready soon to move her babies off the nest and into the other part of her confined area to start feeding them better and allowing them room to grow. She will not wait much longer if no hatches happen after tonight I feel.
I leave you today, a chicken-rich man with good, healthy and evidently happy chicks and a little Mama as well, with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG (AND LOTS OF NEW BABIES) AT A TIME!"