Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘new chicks

Insufferable Excess

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Written by johnwhays

July 20, 2020 at 6:00 am

More Chicks

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New chicks arrived this morning!

 

It was a two-day trip to get here through the U.S. Mail and all but one appeared to be in perfect shape. The lone weakling initially appeared as one who didn’t survive the trip but she did eventually take a drink and stand up on very wobbly legs. We are hoping for the best that she will gain strength to keep up with the rest of the rambunctious brood.

Because our previous familiar breeds were not available at the time Cyndie placed the order, she went with four that are completely new to us:

New Hampshire, Dominique, Barnevelder, & Light Brahma.

Here we go again! Despite the current battle with a fox that has boldly made a daytime attack on our 3 adult hens.

Sometimes heartfelt decisions defy logic in favor of hope.

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Just Love

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Certainly, there could be worse things to keep coming back to, but my mind has begun to develop a healthy habit of naturally settling on thoughts about sending and receiving LOVE amid the swirl of good and bad circumstances that wash over us with unrelenting regularity.

We learned last night of an unexpected death among our extended family, all too close to the time of Cyndie’s dad’s passing that has everyone already raw with grief. The increasing infection rate of the coronavirus pandemic is pressing firmly against the frustrations of being locked down for months and disrupting dreams of resuming some previous activity.

Plans for the fall are far from settled as to whether schools will be able to open safely and entertainment venues will figure out a way to host events.

It is almost becoming a physically painful thing to not be able to hug people, on top of the ever-awkward absence of a genuine handshake.

Still, we are showered with ongoing blessings that become more precious with each pause for acknowledgment. The gestures of condolence that have arrived in the last two weeks have warmed our hearts.

Last Sunday, Cyndie and I worked on preparing the brooder for the anticipated arrival of 12 new day-old chicks this month. As hard as the loss of birds is on my tender wife, she couldn’t stop herself from ordering more. New life is coming to Wintervale again!

Summer is in full swing in all its glory around our land, regardless of the recent loss of some big trees. We’re preparing to host travelers we’ve not met before from my virtual community, Brainstorms, in the days ahead. We offered a free parking spot for their small RV on their trek home that is taking them right past our neighborhood on the interstate.

I keep imagining how pleasant it would be if the news media took several days off from mentioning anything a certain person says or does and simply focused on news that matters without any distractions or fabricated drama. I do struggle to muster enough love to offset the disturbance that rolls out of the nation’s capital like the irritation of a lingering dead skunk smell.

The high heat and excessively oppressive tropical dewpoint temperatures are hanging around lately even longer than skunk odors, which is definitely exacerbating the angst of those who lack artificial cooling in their homes.

There is good and bad roiling around in a weird mix. What can we do to cope effectively but love?

Just love.

It sure can’t hurt to try.

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— special love goes out to Carlos today for his sorrow and loss —

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Written by johnwhays

July 8, 2020 at 6:00 am

Hot Chicks

with 6 comments

The call from the Post Office came much earlier than expected yesterday. I’d barely started my day at work when I received a text from Cyndie at 7:18 a.m. indicating she was heading out to pick up our chicks. She told me later that when she walked into the Post Office the immediate sound was of chirping chicks.

She got them home and transferred the tweeting fur balls from their travel box to our water trough brooder, after covering the wood shavings with some paper towels. This will make it easier for them to find the food crumbles we are introducing them to.

They were a pile of chicks at first. Julian informed us the term is, “clutch” of chicks. Since they appear to be clutching each other, it seems most appropriate.

New momma Cyndie picked them up and taught them where to find water, and the first step of imprinting was in the books.

We didn’t plan it, but these birds are truly spring chickens, as they were born on the first day of spring.

In answer to Liz’s questions from yesterday, Cyndie ordered all females. We ordered 9 and received 10 birds. The different breeds are the Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, & Barred Plymouth Rock.

At first, Cyndie felt that one of them looked a little more frail than all the others, and suggested it might require a little extra attention. By the time I got home, they all appeared to be getting along just fine. She couldn’t identify which one had seemed less able.

Earlier in the afternoon, Cyndie brought Delilah into the barn on her leash and tied her some distance away, reporting it as the first introduction and qualifying that it had gone superbly. The dog stayed calm and quiet.

I suggested we bring her right to the brooder trough and let her have a look at the new arrivals. She was happy to have the chance, but didn’t quite understand what to make of it. She could hear them better than see them, as she isn’t tall enough to easily peer down on them over the tub wall. She kept putting her head down to explore around the base of the trough.

After we held her upright to get a clear look down on the chicks, her interest was peaked. From then on, it was almost impossible for her to relax and be quiet after we moved her back out of reach and ignored her while making a health assessment of the birds’ backsides.

Back in the house after dinner, Delilah was annoyingly insistent about being taken for a walk outside again. Cyndie reported that the dog had no interest in walking her usual left turn to the trail in the woods. She made a line for the direction of the barn.

It appears she has a firm focus on the new attractions.

Let the games begin!

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