Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘napping chicks

Spectacular Hatchapalooza!

with 6 comments

I had no idea how this would all play out, but every last moment thus far has been just plain “Wow!” Witnessing eggs hatch is nothing short of hypnotizingly mesmerizing, and I do mean both.

The first beauty surprised us both by emerging just a couple of hours after Cyndie’s early morning audit revealed 9 out of 17 eggs had visible “pips” in the shells. That first chick was getting pretty lonely by 2:30 in the afternoon, which is when I arrived to witness chick number two emerge.

.

.

It takes everything in our power to wrench ourselves away from the amazing nature show that causes time to evaporate but we did it a few times yesterday to eat some dinner, walk Delilah, feed the dog and cat, brush our teeth, and force ourselves to go to bed.

Every time we checked back, there were more chicks.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

One thing I didn’t expect was how synchronously they would behave with each other. Being well-familiar with days-old chicks from previous experience, we are used to seeing how they can instantaneously drop into nap mode. These hatchlings were putting in a Herculean effort of chipping out of the shell, which had them pausing for many naps.

After they are out of the shell, they continue to abruptly crash into instant sleep, and from what we saw, it is highly contagious. It is fascinating to watch. Suddenly all nine of the hatched chicks would lay down as if dead for maybe twenty seconds. When one pops up, all the others take the cue and a sort of cage match chaos resumes, right up until they all fall down again less than a minute later.

Put that on endless repeat, except that it never gets boring. Try falling asleep in your bed when you know there are eggshells being chipped open so that a prehistoric-dragon-looking baby chicken can see our world for the first time in the bathroom downstairs.

We noticed at least one chick with feathers on its feet, ala our Light Brahmas. There are others with hints of dark markings, but mostly, they all seem to have a coloring that reminds us of their dad, Rocky the rooster.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

May 19, 2021 at 6:00 am

Eleven Days

leave a comment »

Check out this video clip from yesterday and see if you can detect the change of a few days’ growth:

.

In the background of the audio of that clip, you can hear one of the three remaining adult hens making a racket, probably announcing she laid an egg or seeking to reconnect with the other two after having just done so.

The one Barnevelder chick who was lagging in growth has been receiving special support from Cyndie in hopes of boosting it over the hump of disadvantage it would otherwise face. Simply providing extra hydration quickly results in more energy and more interest in eating. We are happy whenever we see evidence the little one chooses to eat on her own or pushes back at others as often as they push her away.

As long as she keeps improving, we’ll keep giving her support to help her along.

When she settles down to nap, which they still all do with relative frequency, others snuggle up with her nicely until some doofus walks all over everyone and wakes the whole bunch. I snapped the photo above because they were all laying together with heads down, but just my motion to move in for the snapshot caused them to pick up their heads again.

They are doing a lot more flapping of wings and jumping up on things.

I’m almost ready to stop calling them chicks.

They’re becoming little “henlets.”

.

.

Written by johnwhays

July 26, 2020 at 10:09 am

Insufferable Excess

leave a comment »

I know that I’m not a big fan of seeing countless photos of other peoples’ pets/babies/hobbies day after day so I fully understand if you groan and skim the all-too-many shots of cute fluffy chicks that will likely show up for the next few days. After that time, the pictures will reveal feathered baby birds, so at least that will be a noticeable change.

Already, the wing feathers are developing and our feathery-footed Light Brahmas are showing the beginnings of their foot coverings.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Not unexpectedly, the chick in the most precarious condition upon arrival ended up not surviving the first day, despite the special attention we gave her. By late Saturday afternoon, we found a second chick showing signs of trouble and began steps to nurse her along, including protecting her from abuse others were dishing out as she began to falter.

The best sign we were successful, beyond the fact she was still alive yesterday morning, was when she proved equal to all the others in terms of not playing a victim and confidently pushing others out of her way when she moved about.

It is comical to watch how consistently they do two things at this age:

  • Fall asleep in a split second wherever they are, be it at the feeder, in the middle of the action, or all by themselves in the distance.
  • Step on each other constantly, particularly when others are down for a nap.

This is probably the reason and the necessity of their gift of being able to “micro-nap” many times throughout a day. They won’t be down very long before another comes along and walks all over them.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Our first reaction when checking on them is to fear one or more may have expired when we find them conked out in a variety of unlikely places. It’s a good thing these naps don’t last very long. Already, when they hear our voices, they perk up and start moving about with excited energy.

One endearing maneuver they employ at this age is a leg stretch where they stop and push one foot out behind them as far as it will go. It’s as if we can see them grow a fraction bigger every time they do it.

Makes me hope they are stretching each leg equally. It’s not always obvious that they do.

This is the third year we have purchased a batch of chicks, and due to the limited availability caused by demand during the pandemic, it is the latest in the year we have been trying to care for such young chicks. Keeping the temperature in the brood at the constant desired level has been a challenge.

In early spring, we just put the heat lamp on and the chicks huddle under it when they want more warmth or wander away to cool down. Now, with the barn heating up in the daytime sun, we have to be careful it doesn’t get too hot in there. It is a little too cool with the warming lamp off and gets too hot if we leave it on.

We have to check on them frequently and cycle the lamp accordingly.

So, you get excessive amounts of photos of our chicks for a few days and we have to deal with insufferable excesses of heat.

We all have our burdens, don’t we?

.

.

Written by johnwhays

July 20, 2020 at 6:00 am