Monday, April 26, 2010

Culling the Herd

Long ago, in October 2009, I rushed eggs up to my neighbor Sheri's incubator. I thought I would let 2 of my "girls" sit on eggs until they hatched. One Thursday night I went out to the coop and saw a sweet little, fluffy chick. Warm maternal instincts flooded through me and I could hardly wait to go out the next morning to see how many more chicks had hatched through the night.

The next morning I lifted up the hen to check on the baby chick and any new baby brothers or sisters that may have emerged and ...didn't find a one. It took me that long to look up into the mother's face...only to see a barely hatched chick dead and sticking out of her beak. Not only was that one dead, the little chick from the night before was nowhere to be seen.

Gulp. I pulled the remaining eggs out from under the cold-hearted and cruel/non-instinctive mother hen and took them to the incubator. Sheri watched over them for me and when the babies were born, we brought them up in a box with a heat lamp. Only 3 of the chicks made it. Out of all of those chicks, only 1 was a pure-breed Ameraucana.

The three were pals as is the case with any chicks that are raised together. High school friends of mine came to visit and named the purebreed, Mary. I tagged the two other ones #102 and #103 with foot bands, the first time I have ever done that.

As my luck would have it, the other two chicks grew up into strapping young-buck ROOSTERS!!! DANG! Right now they are sitting in our dog, Tasso's, crate on their way to Western Farm where I will happily sell them.

After a long and hectic week I relaxed in the back yard by letting the chickens out of the pen to run around and munch on the grass. I watched as both #102 AND #103 had their way with the same hen and then Dad/Ivanhoe would join in. It was a too much for me. So...today is the trip downtown!

For some inexplicable reason my pictures aren't posting right now. I will share images when I am able.

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