Continuing Chick Saga…

Since yesterday we have lost 1 Welsummer out of the blue and the Polish “mystery chick” and all the three remaining Cornish have taken a turn for the worst. The Cornish were always weaker than the rest, and the Polish was fine when he arrived but I think he was too small to compete so he too became weak. I separated the four weak ones out and put them in a separate brooder, making sure they drank every time I went down to check on them. They were very keen on drinking and seemed to improve but none of them ever learned to eat, not even the one who was drinking on its own and had a HUGE gullet filled with Save-A-Chick laced water. That one improved so much I put him back in the regular brooder because he was being too rough with the weak ones. It held its own very for a time but I had to take it back out and put it back int he sick brooder after 8 hours.

Now the Polish and two Cornish are beyond saving, just barely breathing, having also suffered from what I call Stupid Baby Syndrome (in other words not learning how to eat!) The remaining Cornish that was doing OK is very iffy. It appears that while in the Welsummer brooder it ate all that it could shove in its gullet but didn’t drink any water. What is this?! I can only eat or drink but not both?! The food and water are right next to each other! SIGH. I suspect at the end of this I will be left with just Welsummers, who by the way are quiet, and extremely lively, though I am not sure if I like them. They appear to be horrible little bastards. The more weak ones I pick out of the brooder the more targets they find, picking at their feet, trampling them, and just general bullying. Normally this is an issue of space but the brooder is huge! The chicks are less than a week old and there’s only 25 in there! I despair a bit, wondering if in the end I am just going to end up with one giant psychopathic chick standing triumphantly on a top of a pile of bloody carcasses. I have heard this is a problem in fighting bird breeds but these are layers! To be completely honest this is starting to really frustrate me. If that does happen I will have to make the winner into a king/queen. I think that’s how that works…

royalchick

We are still set to receive 100 Brabanters on Friday. I’m seriously hoping they arrive healthy, happy, and friendly!! And that they stay that way!  The one positive thing that keeps putting a smile on my face about all this is Max, our Belgian Hare. He lives loose in our house and when I brought in the chicks he was at first afraid of them, standing atop a box and glaring at the brooder for a good 12 hours. When I finally gave in and showed him what was in the broodbox he became deliriously happy. He ran back and forth at full speed, weaved through my legs over and over again also at high speeds, and kicked his heals in the air. I don’t know if we thinks we bought him some playmates or what but he’s being real funny about it!

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