Monday, June 18, 2007

proud grandma

i am the proud grandma of 5 new baby chicks. i went outside this morning and heard little peeps coming from the coop. there was one little black head peering out from beneath mama. i was so excited. but then panic struck-how is mama gonna get the babies down from the nest to get water? hazel wouldn't let me near her-growling and fluffing her feathers out like a male turkey! i quickly built a ramp. then, i started reading about the new brood and how the other hens could try and kill the babies-what horrid beastly little creatures chickens can be! i still love my girls but wow! such nasty behaviors. just then lucie walks in the coop and boy is she pissed at the little peeping sounds. not only does she have to deal with the teens but now, newborns.
i just finished the coop extension yesterday. but i realized i better use it for the new brood and the teens would just have to deal as these babies were so tiny about 2 inches tall and no match for lucie-she packs a mean peck! so, i had to figure out how to get the new family into the new room. hazel is very protective-i grabbed a baby and the little thing let out a blood curtling screech- i put it in the extension thinking mama would come to it and the rest would follow-no such luck-utter chaos. i tried luring hazel in with treats-no go-she associated this new room with power tools and hammers-she wasn't going near it. and i'm not helping by freaking out and feeling totally sure that all the chicks would be dead by morning.-first time grandma here. i guess i'm a bit fatalistic.

i calmed down and got a big board and kind of herded them in-yea! they have food and water and are separated from the others. i will sleep better now with no visions of canabalistic chickens. hazel is a great mom-i need to relax!

one thing i thought was totally cool is that hazel cleaned her nest after the births. at first we thought only 4 were gonna hatch, but then several hours later the fifth one happened and hazel brought all five down the ramp. i thought she might eat the shells but i found them stacked one inside the other in a neat little bunch-very cool.


JAK said...

I hope It's first word is NANA>..
thanks for the words girl...
appreciate them

Sharon said...

That shell stacking thing is kinda weird - another thing I don't know about chickens, past feathers, sharp pointy beaks and eggs.

ThomasK said...

great looking chicks! Can't wait to watch as they grow up on your blog.

Like Sharon, I'm surprised at the shell stacking trick, too. What other surprises are in store?