Monday, April 27, 2009

Well ...

... here's how it went down:

Three tiny chicks were delivered to us this past cold and rainy Sunday morning at church. Adorable, all of them. Our busy morning meant bringing the babies along with us, in a box which dear husband had rigged up with a warmer light in the back of the van (plugged into an adapter which plugged into a receptacle) to keep them as warm as possible until we could get them home and into our makeshift brooder.

Once we got them home, it quickly became apparent that 2 of them weren't doing well at all, and sadly, we lost those two within only a couple of hours of being home. Not sure what happened to them, but we assume it was the stress of traveling and being cold, then warm, then cold, then warm. We were heartbroken - and so was our remaining girl, who cheeped and cheeped loudly for hours once she was alone. YoungerSon put a little teddy bear in the box with her to keep her company (we'd seen this online as a help for lonely chicks), and we hung out with her as much as we could until bedtime. DearHusband got up to check on her a couple of times at night, and to talk to her, which seeemed to soothe her a little. He found her cuddled up next to the little teddy bear.

As it happened, when our friends from church brought our 3 chicks, they also delivered 5 additional chicks (and a cute coop!) to our priest's house just before liturgy - they were his wife's surprise birthday gift to him. We learned only on Saturday that he would be getting chicks the next day, too. So this morning, DearHusband called Fr. and asked if we might borrow a "loaner chick" for a little while, as our girl was so sad and lonely, to which he graciously agreed. Life in the brooder is much happier now - at least for the time being.

So we are currently parenting one chick (Wilma) and one foster chick (Flora).

We called DearHusband's brother that first night to ask about next steps, and he told us that he has to give away 2 of his 4 one-year-old laying hens, because they are drowning in eggs. His chickens are illegal aliens which he is keeping at his house despite city regulations prohibiting them within the city limits. So he can't really give his eggs away in their small town without alot of questions (if you know what I mean). Since he's going to have to re-home two of them anyway, he suggested that they be re-homed with us. And since our coop is ready, DeaHusband is fashioning a pick-up plan for his brother's two girls.

Once we get them and the weather warms up and our Wilma has some feathers on, we'll return Father's loaner chick to his flock, make the appropriate introductions and hope they all get along and get busy!

As promised, a photo of the finished house and the babies in our brooder:


Emily H. said...

Oh, that's sad you lost two of them. :(

At least you have your Father's chick to console yours.

-C said...

Yes, it was so sad :-( Shortly after we lost them I began to think that I am not emotionally up to this.
But our girl is so happy now with her little friend - my hope has been renewed. They are joined at the hip, those 2. Thank God for a generous and kind priest! His girl has been a blessing.

DebD said...

So sorry about the loss of 2 of your chicks... I never started with chicks so I have no words of wisdom.

Elizabeth said...

I am sorry you lost two of your young 'uns :-(

Most likely it was cold/stress combination.

I do so love your chicken coop and run; we are hoping to move to a house with a bigger garden and I want to have chickens again !!

Kate said...

That cute little house! It's so ...
*sniff* ...beautiful!

-C said...

It is a sweet little house - just waiting to be lived in.
I need to find a place to include a link to the information of the guy who built it for us, Al. He was meticulous and speedy - he did a great job!

s-p said...

Sorry to hear about the chicks. I had a couple that died like that when I was a kid. The coop is very nice!