Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby Chicks

We live on 16 acres in the Ozarks. Here on the farm we are blessed to have the opportunity to have a few animals. We have 3 Missouri Fox Trotter horses, 2 cats and a dog.

We had 4 hens and 1 rooster when the month of May began. We have other visitors that seem to wander in whenever they get hungry. One of them is a raccoon.

Well he managed to have 2 meals here. One of his meals was our black hen and the next night it was our rooster. The raccoon is very slick and seems to know how to avoid the trap.

We were left with 3 hens. 2 of them were setting on eggs. Well the eggs have now hatched. The white hen started out with 18 chicks. We moved them into a large tractor tire with wire over it to keep them safe from varmints.

We had no idea that the white hen, a new mother, this being her first clutch would decide to abandon some of them. We went to check on them in the morning and to our horror there were 8 dead chicks.

We knew that no varmint had been in there and the evidence showed us what had happened. She didn't want the dark colored chicks. The scene may have been different had the red hen been done hatching hers.

The red hen, an experienced mother, hatched out five more eggs. We have now moved both families into the horse stall and they all seem to be thriving.

We will wait 1 week to give the little ones a chance to grow stronger before we let them out to roam during the day.

Just another day on the farm.

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