Friday, November 23, 2007

Harsh Reality


Two chicks have been lost. I found one of the remaining 4 outside of the cage. Clancy and I suspect the missing chicks wiggled out of the cage and were consumed by the other chickens. Is that possible? I know chickens will eat mice. It's the only explanation we can think of...unless an ermine snatched them...
We brought the last four chicks inside. Hopefully they will be safer in the house. We removed the cage from the coop. The hen will just have to adjust to the flock again because I really do draw the line at having full grown chickens in my house.
Clancy also threw the rest of the eggs away. They seemed a bit heavy. A seventh one was hatching yesterday and it never made it. The hen was also so busy with the chicks that she seemed to forget about the unhatched eggs.
I feel so bad that two chicks were lost in such a short time. I wish we had brought them in last night. But then last night there didn't seem to be a reason to separate them from their momma. Life is just not always smooth and free of loss. Even though I wish it could be.

7 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm so sorry; the heartbreak never seems to end. Without the joy and blessings we also get it just wouldn't be worth it, would it?

Becky Utecht said...

Sorry to hear about the two lost chicks. I would suspect a rat or ermine like you mentioned. My chickens loved to eat mice, but they never ate baby chicks - even dead ones. We had a rat problem and lost baby ducks and chicks one or two at a time usually in the evening. It was very depressing! Do you have any mice in your coop? One good thing about having mice is that you know you don't have rats because rats and mice don't coexist. I'm not sure about ermine and mice.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Thanks for the info, Becky. It's good to know the chickens don't eat the chicks. We do suspect an ermine. The coop is near the site we usually see ermine. They are just tiny weasles. Ermine can almost get into any place a mouse can. I've never seen a mouse in the coop, but I suppose they could get in and out. We find dead mice all over the farm, killed by the cat and the dogs. And we've never seen a rat, so I would guess we don't have them here.
The four little chicks are doing well in the house. It's kindof fun to have them in here with us. They really are funny little things. We enjoy watching them almost as much as Meggy. :)

Tammy said...

Sorry to hear about your little chicks. Yes, chickens DO eat baby chicks. I had it happen to me and saw them 'in action' before I could rescue the remaining brood. Several were badly injured and didn't survive, while a couple were 'gone' all together. Chickens are kinda rough customers and will peck and attack most small things that move around, I guess its their nature, but gruesome to see. I really like your blog.
Tammy

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Thank you Tammy! Do you have a blog I could check out?

Becky Utecht said...

I agree with Tammy that adult chickens will peck at and can kill baby chicks, but in my experience, they haven't actually EATEN dead chicks. That's why it seemed more plausible to me that something else made off with the two missing chicks. Of course, every flock is different and Sabrina's flock may have eaten the chicks, I guess we'll never know. :-)
I'm glad you are enjoying the remaining chicks, Sabrina. They are so cute when they're little.

Garrett808 said...

how are these little guys doing??