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The Wids Profile
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Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
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New Chick!


And now, for something on a more lighthearted note:

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So I came home after a night of screwing around (as I'm wont to do on my nights off), Dad came over to get my help and do some work on my house's air conditioner, we went into my bedroom to turn off the appropriate circuit breakers and I thought to look inside my incubator while I was in there. Guess what I found lounging around. emoticon

The story here is that Scarlet (our current Mama hen) was sitting on a clutch of nine eggs in a small coop with just her, the eggs and the usual food and water dispensers. The first of those eggs hatched about a week ago (on the 24th), and after a few days the new baby boy was out of the nesting box and bouncing around the coop. Rather than guide the chick back to the nest like any halfway decent mama hen would do, Scarlet said "Screw it," left the nest and sat on the chick wherever he happened to be at the time.

After almost two days of this, I started getting worried about the other eight eggs going cold and losing their chicks. I have an incubator in my room (presently trying to hatch more of those damned duck eggs that Mom keeps shoving on me in the futile hope that I might actually hatch some ducklings for her), but I really don't like to use it; that incubator has killed far more chicks than it has hatched, even with me following the instructions properly. So I said, "Screw the instructions" and, recalling that the incubator has a habit of "cooking" the eggs and killing the chicks, I set the thermostat about five degrees lower than the instructions dictate.

Sure enough, that cursed incubator hatched a chick last night, and the other seven eggs are still candling pretty well. But this was the first time I had actually tried to leave the chicks with their mother instead of hatching them in the incubator and raising them myself. Scarlet scuttled that plan, but I figured, "Maybe I can still get Scarlet to accept this new chick; it is her kid, after all."

No such luck. I set the new chick in the coop and Scarlet immediately started nipping it repeatedly. She even stomped on the chick once. Good thing the chick came through okay. So then I took the new chick and put her in the nest with her week-old brother. That worked for a while, and Scarlet went back to the nesting box and started sitting on both chicks. Then I happened to look in on them a half-hour later, Scarlet was up getting a drink, she went back to the nest and suddenly remembered, "Oh, yeah...that's that strange chick that I don't like." So then she started attacking the new chick again. Enough was enough, so I took the chick back to the house with me, grabbed my small space heater and put my old chick cage back together again.

So now I have this chick (who seems to have accepted me as its Mama) rolled up in my shirt, and I'm trying to get the chick to take a nap so that I can finally get to bed as well. In two more days (after the wings have lost some of their down), I'll try feather-sexing this chick to see if I got a girl instead of another boy. Fingers crossed here.

But I'm still a bit cross about Scarlet rejecting her own chick just because I had to hatch it myself, because she was neglecting her eggs in the first place. I've done this before, and I'm going to hold and cuddle and give this chick as much love as I can to ensure that it grows up well, as opposed to becoming a twitchy, neurotic wreck of a chicken. But there's just no way that a human can raise a chick as well as a mother hen can.

Thanks a lot, Scarlet. emoticon

So considering the conditions through which I discovered this chick, I'm thinking of naming him or her Surprise, or maybe "Surprise" in a foreign language. Or maybe I'll name him/her Chicky because "Chicky!" (in the form of a surprised exclamation) was the first word out of my mouth after finding the empty eggshell and the chick just chillin' on the egg turner.

What do you think? emoticon

Last edited by The Wids, 10/2/2012, 2:45 pm
10/2/2012, 2:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
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Posts: 337
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Re: Chikkins!


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I lost my Pepper boy sometime last night...him and his ladyfriend Ella both. I still wish that I knew what killed them; apparently it happened while they were nestled together in their barrel and sleeping.

Happy trails, little sheriff. emoticon
5/18/2013, 10:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 


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