Friday, October 30, 2009

Chick Update Day 16

It's been a week since I posted about the chicks - they are growing up.  They are getting feathers, tails and combs.  They grow so fast. 

There have been some tragedies - we lost 1 chick and 1 guinea keet because of the momma hen.  The guinea flew over the mesh barrier that divides momma hen's side of the coop, despite the fact that the barrier is 6 feet tall.  Needless to say, momma hen doesn't like guineas.  That night everyone got their little wings trimmed.  Then another day momma hen crushed one of her own chicks by jumping on it by mistake.

We used to have 1 Araucana which seemed to have a twisted leg when he was real small.  Luckily that grew out & is all better now - she's running just fine.  One yellow Bantam chick had one tiny speck of black on a wing feather on each of her sides, and for some reason the others started pecking at the black dot on one of her wings.  Within just a couple hours she lost half her wing.

Injured chick eating broccoli

We immediately separated her from the other chicks, brought her inside & created a chick infirmary.  After giving her a bath we determined it was only her wing which was damaged, no injuries to her body.  She wasn't very happy about being separated from the clan, screamed constantly when we weren't holding her.  She would sing beautiful songs when we were with her - she sounded like a songbird.  The first day she wouldn't eat or drink, so we brought in another very calm, small chick from the coop during feeding times, and the friend encouraged her to eat & drink.  We had to be very careful the other chick didn't peck her, and the friend couldn't stay unsupervised in the infirmary with her.  Eventually her wing healed up, feathers grew back, and she looked almost normal again.  Because she still hated to be alone, we played XM radio for her, and eventually the other chick moved in with her full time until she was all healed.  She still had a black spot on the feathers on each of her wings - we carefully trimmed it out and then she went back in with the flock.  She's doing fine now; we're going to have to keep on eye out for her spots to make sure she doesn't get attacked again.

Momma hen with her chicks

The injured chick all better now

The guinea keets

My favorite little man, the leghorn, has a bigger comb than everyone else.

Some of the chicks love to sit on my arms - here I have 2 of them, and 3 others are waiting to jump up


Poconoangel said...

I love your photos of the chicks! And the story about your chick infirmary! How sweet! I will have to send you some pictures of the guinea hens we saw at the pumpkin farm. Have fun with your brood!

Robin said...

Wow Lynn, that is quite the adventure in chick calamities. I'm glad that the wing got better on the peck upon chick. How very odd that the other little chicks pecked it's black spot. You may already have one, but if you don't then you could try a red heat lamp in the coop. It's suppose to make it so the chicks don't peck on each other. We had a red heat lamp for ours until they got older.

They sure are little cuties. What are you going to do with all the eggs when they start laying?

Razzberry Corner said...

Barb - Yes, please do send me pics of the guinea hens you saw! I'd love that - I don't know much about guineas first hand, and have never seen any adults other than online.

Robin - We got a 2 red heat lamps for each side of the chicken coop. We heard that allows them to sleep better than a white light. But they still pecked on that one chick, even under the red heat lamp! They are fast to peck at oddities, like spots, I've learned. I never realized chicks were so much work! It's a "learn-as-I-go" thing for me. I will be very excited when we start having eggs. I'll be eating lots of eggs then, and will probably give some away to friends. Who knows, if we have enough maybe I'll put up an "eggs for sale" sign!

Robin J. said...

Well, you are doing everything right. How frustrating to have them pick on the spotted chick. It was a learn as we go experience for us too since it had been so long since I had chickens as a kid. We did have the one chick we had to put down but all of the others seemed to get along okay. There is a rigid "pecking" order in our hens now. The 2 Wyandottes rule, then the 4 Bobs, the 3 Rhode Island Reds, finally leaving lowly Elwood and Jake on the bottom. Our chicks were really easy to take care of other then the water replacing every day. That got annoying fast. You will find that they are pretty easy going when they get bigger. I just check their food and water levels, let them out every day, collect their eggs, and lock them up at night.

I just gave two dozen eggs away to neighbors today. I needed a break from eggs for a few days. It's pretty amazing how fast their eggs add up. I also find myself giving them away to my family when they are around. "PLEASE, TAKE SOME," I find myself pleading. :D

Sue said...

Nice photos-glad things worked out with the chick.
Chickens are funny to watch, but they are a lot of work.

Leigh said...

What a relief the injured chick was accepted back with the flock. I do hope she doesn't get picked on any more. I really enjoy your photos. I'm really looking forward to the day we can have chickens ourselves.

DayPhoto said...

Chickens are terrible about hurting each other..but you have done well in helping everyone through the terrible growing pains of chickens.

It's fun to have chickens, they are so much like people that I have a hard time not naming them after some I work with. Oh, you didn't read that...


suZen said...

Hi Lynn! Your photos are wonderful! It sure takes me back to the farm days and feeding the chickens when I was little! What a delightful adventure you're having! Thanks for sharing!