Mike ran into the house the other morning. I was still laying in bed, trying to catch another 2 seconds of rest before hauling my lazy body from under the warm covers and into the cool morning air.
“Holly, you’ll never guess what!!”
“What is it?”
“We have….baby chicks!!”
I immediately sprung out of bed, got dressed and hurried with Mike to see our newly hatched chicks.
The first thing I saw when we approached the coop, was something I hadn’t expected.
They were adorable little black chicks.
I can’t recall ever in my life seeing an image of a baby chick that wasn’t covered in a yellow fluffy down. Ever. This was entirely new to me! Mike assured me they were normal, and that chicks can be brown, yellow, black…etc.
This all started three weeks ago. Tessa gave us two of her eggs that she thought might be fertilized. I marked one of my chickens eggs, and Mike marked his. 21 days had passed and our hens had successfully mothered some baby chicks!
I was curious to know who’s eggs had hatched, so later went and took a peek under the hens. They are Tessa’s little babies.
Now, here comes some sad news…
Our eggs were now being neglected. Mike was out working so I brought them inside and got the incubator warmed up. As I held the eggs I thought I heard a bird outside the kitchen. I was a bit confused as it sounded like a young bird.
I looked at the eggs in my hand, and realized that Mikes egg was chirping! How fascinating. This is something like a grade 5 lesson you would have at school, you know hatching your own eggs. I never had that experience, so I was basically acting as a 10 year old would.
I started to shake my egg, to see if it would chirp as well.
Nothing, nada….It felt funny, as if the insides were flopping inside the egg. I was convinced it had not developed. I popped it into the incubator anyway.
Mike came home and we had dinner, discussed our new additions to the farm, and the excitement spilled over in “pre bedtime” conversation about what his little chick would be like.
The next morning, Mike and his brother went off to go fishing very early.
I stayed behind to get some jobs done on the farm, but before I left the house at the crack of dawn, I decided to see what our little eggs were up to.
Mike’s had started cracking out of its shell. I could see a little beak. I left the eggs, and went off for a few hours to clear some troughs.
When I came home, Mike was waiting (fishing was a bust), and mentioned he put his egg under the hens again.
We still had alot of work to get done, so we said we would check on the egg when we got back.
A few hours later, we hurried to the coop.
I was hoping to find a third little chick running around.
We couldn’t find the shell at first. Then, after a minute we found a fragment of it.
No other evidence was to be found. It’s cannibal mothers, had eaten it!! We were both pretty upset about it.
But at least we had the other chicks right?
I went back and grabbed my egg. I cracked it on the ground and saw that it was indeed fully rotten. Tess eat it, shell and all. She acts like we never feed her!! ahah I give her canned peaches, cooked zucchini, she eats it all. And now, rotten eggs.
Mike spent most of the afternoon hammering together a sort of “rabbit hutch” structure for the mother hen and the chicks to live in, in peace. He brought it over and we filled it with hay, and wet bread and water for the babies to eat.
Wuzza, and Tess (the puppy) were first to welcome, and stress out the momma bird. After everyone was settled in, we left them to their own devices.
The afternoon rolled on, into the evening.
We were getting ready for bed, when we could hear the birds chirping quite loudly. It sounded as if they were in some trouble. We had placed thier hutch close to the front of the house so we could keep an eye on them.
Mike grabbed his flashlight and went out to see what the fuss was.
He yelled for me.
“Holly!!! The babies and hen are being attacked by ants! They are being swarmed!”
I ran out, and helped him remove the chicks. We brought them inside to bright light so we could pick all of the ants off them.
I couldn’t believe this. Does this happen often out here? Did we put the box on a nest of ants? Jesus, I felt horrible for the little babies. The mother was panicked and kept trying to peck the ants off her little ones. I think I picked about 25 ants off the chick I was assigned to care for.
This would never happen in Canada!
We replaced the hutch, with new hay, and ant killer onto the deck. Right away the birds were calm and quiet. It would have been an absolute nightmare…being attacked by thousands of biting ants.
On another note…Mike just told me he had something exciting to say.
Wait for it……
The little cherry tomatoes he picked for me last week, that I enjoyed so much, were in fact….from Brian and Tessa’s Tomato human Poop GARDEN!!!!
hahah…..Jokes on me. He told Brian and Tessa last week I had been eating them, and they cracked up.
Oh yeah, I have my new tea cup! Wooo, 10 weeks of waiting brought me to finally receiving and opening the glorious package!! I love it!