Monday, May 20, 2013

Soap Opera Life

Sometimes Seven Cats Farm feels a little soap opera-y. Soap operas focus on who is sleeping with who, finding grandfather's uncle's brother's cousin's wife's long lost baby only to find out that it is your cousin to whom you are married, and on and on...

Our soap opera show today focuses on chickens. It's been awhile since we've visited out chicks and chickens here on the blog, so let's get caught up, shall we?

So, when last we left our heroes, Trudy had hatched four chicks and was being a great mom. Trudy continues to be a great mom, however one of her chicks got sick - it was something respiratory - poor thing was gasping for air and was sneezing. I separated the chick from Trudy and after trying to nurse her back to health, that chick died. So Trudy is down to three chicks - and they all are great.

In the meantime, we put another seven eggs in the (properly calibrated!!!) incubator. About a week before the eggs were to hatch, Candy went broody! Woot! I was thrilled and got busy moving birds around so I could put Candy in a carrier in what was to be the Chicken Nursery. So the bantam chickens were moved into the chicken tractor into the main pen, Trudy was moved into a larger carrier/ cardboard box where the bantams were, and we added the cleaned original Trudy carrier into the previous bantam area, aka the nursery. Candy went into said carrier and under her went seven eggs. Did you follow the bouncing ball? Phew.

Three days later and it's hatching day. I happen to have a migraine and am in bed, but The Lovey comes in to report that one chick has hatched and is fine. Yay!!! A few hours pass, and I decide to get myself up and check on the Candy and her chicks. Thank goodness I did. Although Candy was a great sitter, she was a lousy mother. She had killed two of her chicks, a third was hiding in a corner, and the rest of the eggs hadn't yet hatched. I got The Lovey and we moved the alive chick and eggs back into the incubator and moved Candy back into the main chicken hen (she is currently in broody rehab. More on that later).

So we now have five healthy chicks in a cardboard box brooder in our sun room. They are doing really well. Eight chicks with two different mothers - one is a chicken the other is a heat lamp. We are now encouraging all the chicks to be hens. Because you don't want to be a rooster at Seven Cats Farm.

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