Monday, April 21, 2008

'Farming' Rollercoaster

We have had the honour of looking after Andrea's newly purchased Ameracauna and Buff Orpington chicks for one week. Here's where Annika is nearly all the time:

Crooning lullabies as she rocks the chicks one a time on her lap. Her favourite (shown here) she's named PP and should grow up to the be the calmest, friendliest chicken there ever was!

Pedar loves them too, but he's not quite as maternal as his big sister.

We've had the heartache of having one of the Ameracaunas that wasn't thriving expire on us overnight. My kids are pretty hearty farm kids and while we were all sad, they handled it really well.

We also had a crazy heart-wrenching experience with a little "miracle" BP chick. Pedar had been cuddling it when his sister happened upon him and he must have thought she was going to get after him because he quickly hid it behind his back. She made him show her what he had and took it from him (he knows we want him to cuddle to his heart's desire but only when we're with him). With all the frantic crying I came upon the scene to find a "dead" chick in the playpen. Annika filled me in on what happened and soon we were all crying. I just couldn't let this little chick die and have my sweet boy feel responsible -- so I did all I could to revive it. I put a couple drops of water in its beak, but it didn't respond. I massaged its whole body for about 10 minutes trying to do my best healing touch, but it was still completely limp and barely breathing in my hand. I finally gave up and laid it under the heat lamp to die. Half an hour later I went back down and couldn't find it! I counted the brood about 5 times, each time coming up with 28, the full count! How could this be? A miracle, to be sure. We had a big celebration and still feel tremendous relief that sweet gentle Pedar doesn't have the accidental death of a wee chick on his mind.

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