A bike race through our village is pretty much something.
Given the age demographics here, funerals are the most regular functions.
So a few friends are in my courtyard, wincing at the Tannoy volume and waving to the riders.
And I get a phone call.
But all I hear is crying and bubbling sniffles.
Just come and help me.
Hand led I follow into a small barn.
They are dead is all she says.
They are dead.
She has 15 chicks, all just days old.
The heater lifted out and all I see is a pile of tiny bodies.
No movement, no gasping, no hope.
I have no idea what to do.
Food, water and heater.
That should suffice.
Pick one up and a claw grabs me.
Come on, fight you little beggar.
Dip beak into water bowl and I have reaction.
Gasping for air.
And my finger has the reason.
A crop the size of Linford Christie’s lunch box.
Ask the question.
Forgot to refill the water bowl.
But full now.
Eating and eating with no water and then given a drink and the crop just expands.
Come on you little sod, help me.
Syringe of water into beak.
Finger moving crop up and down.
Come on, swallow or puke, I do not care which.
And the pea sized lump is gone.
Lazarus stands before me and has a drink.
And my finger tips weep for me.
Chicks are all they are.
An ounce or two of fluff.
But this is awful.
Pick the biggest, try to save them.
I can only save five.
Ten little puffs of down, not even yet feathers.
They all fit into my cupped hands.
I am so sorry I whisper.
I feel hopeless.
And the noise from the box kicks me out of my selfish self pity.
Peeps and louder peeps.
Squabbling over food and space and water and just squabbling.
We have five back from the brink.
Another one dead.
And I have the weakest one on a hot water bottle at my place.
,He was being pecked by the two strongest.
Don’t hold out much hope but at least he is warm and comfortable.
Phoned a friend last night who told me that if they get cold at that age, they can just die up to 24 hrs later.
Don’t want to ask my neighbour too many questions, she is too distraught.
Have told her to phone the vet this morning for advice.
Even with a mother hen it happens…I once found a chick in the cold…virtually solid…I was so upset…I walked around with it in my hands…just regretting I hadn’t found it earlier…somehow I couldn’t just put it down…after a few minutes…I heard the weakest of cheeps..
It lived and went on to be a much loved hen.
We do what we can..Stinky always goes the extra mile.
Young chicks are very fragile and die at the slightest excuse.
Too hot, too cold, too much food, drowning in their water, being stood on by their mates, and weak or bleeding bird will be executed by the others by pecking and then standing on them. If you re-introduce a bird you have hand reared, or maybe get a late arrival from the incubator do it when it is pitch dark, else the others will be very likely to kill it.
Don’t give up, you will learn.
I once had newspapers bedding in the brooder, several chicks got under the newspaper and died.
It is always very upsetting when baby animals of any kind don’t make it and it isn’t necessarily different when the mother of the species is involved as has been said. When we were breeding rabbits I was very sad when one doe appeared to have killed all six of her young. She was not a good mother at all as she very often only had one or two babies and, even when she had more it wasn’t a rarity for her to have one or two dead ones. All very upsetting indeed but sometimes its the way of the animal world unfortunately.
The last two weaklings spent their last hours on a warm hotwater bottle and died cupped in my hands.
Too weak to take water, they just went, minutes apart.
I know that they are only chicks but Goddamn I wanted them to live.
I have been there at a horse’s last moments.
I have had cats and dogs all my life.
But these little beggars got to me.
And I could do nothing for them.
Two out of fifteen is all I managed to save.
Just bloody two.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>As your post title says Stinks, you tried, you really tried and because of that two chicks have survived, I know you can’t help but think of the others that didn’t make it, but as you see the two that did gain strength you will get some solace from that.</p>
You are quite right, two saved is better than none.
Especially if you happen to be one of the two…
I just wonder if I was right to aid the strongest first.
They survived the night and are strutting around as though nothing has happened.
I have not told my neighbour, but I have named these two Lazarus and Phoenix.
The chicks are fine Bonjour and have been moved down to Jerome’s farm where they just slotted in with his flock no bother at all.
The owner was too upset to keep them.
The post drink hedgebabies were popped back into the well covered plant border next to them to see if Mum would come back.
I know that you are not supposed to handle them so as not to spook Mum.
But I had no choice.
If I had not plonked their little faces into some water, I fear that they had not much time left.
The video showed their thirst.
I just hoped that my hands, having handled a dog, two cats, several horses and a riot of chickens may not have smelled too much of me.
A check one hour later found them sleeping, curled up together.
Next check they were gone.
I just hope that I see them with Mum sometime soon.
Trailcam in the courtyard tonight.
No point last night, we had the storm from Hell.
My roses are either horizontal or snapped in two.
Thank you all for caring about the little Beasties.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.