This week I have been super busy. I haven't gotten much done, but I've been super busy none the less. Mostly doing nothing but staring.. You see, I have baby chicks in the house, and I can't take my eyes off them!
This is the first time I've gotten chicks by incubator, and truth be told something went wrong in the process as we only got two live chicks out of a dozen eggs. Sad as it is, sometimes things don't turn out as we would like it too. Nevertheless, I was really happy that the two chicks that were in viable eggs did survive! Scruffy the little one battled for a day and a night to make it out of its egg, and when he did make it he was so tiny and scrawny I thought he would die. Apparently you aren't supposed to help the chicks hatch, so it was a good thing I was at home sleeping that night as otherwise I most definitely would have picked him right out of the egg!
Fluffy on the other hand has been a go getter from the start! He came out within a few hours and has been eating and drinking from the start. I was most worried about teaching the chicks to eat and drink as they are incubator chicks without a mother hen to teach them what to do, but nature is strong and their instincts were intact. After two days in the incubator they were allowed home where I had made up a nest in an old guinea pig cage with a heating lamp and a thick layer of sawdust.
Boomer my constant companion has been as busy as I have, what with all the babysitting and such! He is the kindest dog in the world and would never hurt anyone or anything. He thinks it's totally normal to have chicks in the living room, in case anyone wonders.
After all his struggles to get out of the egg, Scruffy seemed poorly and exhausted. He was eating and drinking okey, but his feather down was patchy and he was absolutely tiny compared to Fluffy the First Born. Added to that he pooped green stuff, which is never a good sign. The poop got stuck in his bottom, and on day four I picked him up and washed his bottom clean under lukewarm water.
Although I think he was hugely offended by the treatment it seemed to do the trick, as the very next day he was in much better health. In the morning he was running around and eating on his own. To my mind it seemed as if he had even grown some fluff over night!
Not that Fluffy leaves his sibling alone for many seconds! They huddle together in the food cup and under the lamp, and chatter non-stop with light tweeting sounds. Presently they are still eating boiled egg yolk mixed with baby chicken food, and apparently part of the feeding process is kicking the food around or out of the plate. Such fun!
On day five they are both looking quite healthy and happy. I keep calling them "him" as if I knew they were boys, but truth be told as yet I have no idea if they will turn out to be hens or roosters. I shall keep you posted on how we get along, but one thing is certain and that is that even if they turn out to be roosters we will not be having Coq aux Vin from them this autumn. Instead my all too kind neighbours will need to build an extension to their chicken coop to house all my darling pets for winter....