Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fingers crossed

One of our chickens has been setting on eggs for over three weeks. I noticed on Tuesday that some of them little ones had hatched. The proud mother is fiercely protective so I couldn't get close enough to see them closely.

When I went out yesterday to check on the babies, I noticed a snake in the pen. That's never a good sign especially when there are baby chicks involved. So I went into the pen to de-snake it. I think it was a rat snake but it eats all kinds of tiny critters so I whacked it on the head with at small piece of plastic pipe. It wasn't hard enough to hurt the snake, but it was hard enough to make it sull up in the corner.  I grabbed my work gloves from the shed and grabbed it around the neck.

I took it down to the barn which is over a hundred yards away and released it there. If it comes back to the chicken pen, things will not turn out well for it.

After the snake incident, the setting hen abandoned the nest and two tiny peeps trailed after her. There were about 10 eggs left in the nest.

I don't own an incubator, but I decided to try and hatch any peeps that were close to hatching. Putting them in a cardboard box in my shed, I put a lamp in the box to keep the temps withing hatching range.

When I went out after work today, I saw that a tiny beak had pecked through the shell and was working its way to freedom. An hour or so later when I went out, it had broken free and was huddled under the warm glowing light.

I should know by tomorrow morning if it's going to survive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

14 comments:

  1. Aw, so sweet! Fingers crossed that this itty bitty baby survives.

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  2. Great post! First the incident with the snake..eeeesh! and then a new chick you will possibly be fostering now. Wow, talk about a mom with not patience gee wiz! Fingers crossed !!!
    Lisa

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  3. You are a good man Charlie Brown. I am not sure I owuld give the snake a second chance and also I thought of writing a book for kids once called "My mother was a Light Bulb" from my days as the egg-getter

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  4. How wonderful to have some baby chicks around. Hope the little one under the light makes it.

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  5. Ohhh, poor little fella. Hope he survives. Will you put him with his Mama?

    By the way, Rick, I meant to tell you I got quite a chuckle out of your dining naked column. Oh BOY, could I identify. Splish splash go the drips and dribbles. ha ha hahaha Wouldn't want to try your method in a restaurant, though. Ha ha ha ha ha Susan

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  6. I am crossing my fingers, too. Good for you.

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  7. Fingers crossed, too.

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  8. The wonder of life!!

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  9. You must have an abundance of eggs!

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  10. I hope you ave a chick following you every where. Why did the hen leave the nest? Is that common?

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    Replies
    1. When then hen saw the snake, she instinctively knew the nest was no longer safe even though I removed the varmint. She felt her young family had a better chance of survival out in the open pen.

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  11. Good luck with your adopted chicks.

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  12. This is all very exciting to a boy like me from the suburbs who has never seen chicks hatch.

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  13. Aww... how beautiful. We've had to hatch some chicks ourselves...they're actually more robust that you think. I think it will be fine with your care and attention. All the best! Kath :-)

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