Pages

June 16, 2009

Babies

As if there weren't enough things to distract me from blogging, having a box or peeping fluffballs to watch certainly doesn't help!

The post office in Blaine, WA, called bright and early last Monday (6:15 to be exact), to let us know that the chicks had arrived, and you'd have thought a family member had gone into labor with the flurry of activity that ensued! My mom had offered to pick them up for us, since border rules changed on June 1st, making it so that a passport is required to enter the US, and mine expired years ago. Thankfully the crossing was pretty quick at that time in the morning, so we had only just gotten to Vancouver by the the time they were on their way back. There was a bit of a panic when they couldn't find the health papers (which were under the chicks inside the box - seems like poor planning to me), but it turns out that it's suprisingly easy to import live animals into Canada!

Our first peek at the chicks - everyone seems to be in great shape!

All of the chicks were alive and well, and the hatchery included a second Salmon Faverolles male as a bonus. We spent a little while getting the chicks fed and watered, and set up a temporary brooder box for the trip home.

We got them home and set up in the main brooder, and everyone seemed to be happy (it's a little scary in the beginning - there are so many things that can go wrong!). But by Tuesday evening, it became apparent to me that one of the Salmon Faverolles wasn't doing so well. It was chirping loudly and swaying back and forth on its feet. I kept an eye on it for a while, but by morning it had really gone downhill. I spent all day Wednesday trying to nurse the poor babe back to health, feeding it softened food and vitamin water drop by drop, but nothing seemed to help, and she (he?) got progressively weaker. By that evening, another of the Faverolles was starting to exhibit the same symptoms. I separated them from the others for the night, and by morning, the second one had died. The first one was still clinging to life, but within an hour or two, she was gone too. It still seems odd to me that we would lose two of the same breed for no apparent reason, but one of them did have an eye gummed shut when it arrived on Monday (we managed to soak it open), and two of the Faverolles (we're assuming these two) were chirping very loudly all the time, as if they were in distress. We were joking about it actually, that the breed we got because they were supposedly so quiet turned out to be the loudest of the bunch. I guess they might have had something wrong with them from the beginning. Now the question is, who survived? Do we now have two Faverolles males? Two females? It even occurred to me that they might have sent an extra because they knew they were having problems with them - who knows. Hopefully it will turn out that we still have one of each.

On the bright side, the rest of the chicks are doing really well. They seem to have bonded with us and come running when we go in to see them (especially when they think I've brought them corn on the cob!).

My daughter and I tried to get some good photos of them when they were about 5 days old so we would remember what they all looked like. Here are the resulting "baby" photos:

New Hampshire Red

Salmon Faverolles


Australorp

Dark Brahma


White Wyandotte


Delaware


Red Star



Buff Orpington



Barred Plymouth Rock


Jersey Giant


Speckled Sussex


Black Star


Blue Laced Red Wyandotte


Rhode Island Red

The kids have been giving them the occasional bug, and one of the Barred Rocks seems to be the huntress of the group, snapping them up before anyone else knows what's going on.

First time outside!

We're enjoying this latest adventure immensely, and in the words of my son, "I want to always have chickens!"

13 comments:

Heather said...

I just Love! those "baby" photos. They make me think that must have been one interesting photo shoot. ;-) The Rhode Island Red even has her leg lifted up as though she has been asked for an action shot.

Looks like you're really enjoying them.

janeywan said...

Oh what fun! Quite a variety, you want some pheasant peeps??

Michelle Ellis said...

I've been waiting for this post(:

They are soooo cute!

Congratulations(:

Carla said...

That was quite the photo shoot. They are so cute. I can hardly wait to see how this all turns out.

amanda rose said...

this is by far the cutest post i've ever seen on a blog.

Loulou said...

Thank you for introducing us to your new little ones! They are darling!
I admire your patience too...that must have taken a while to get such wonderful shots of each of them!

Wendy said...

I love the 'baby' photos :).

We got our first chicks in 2006 and haven't looked back. We added ducks to our nanofarm this year. We've loved every minute of it, and I have to totally second what your son said ;).

Steffi said...

They are soooo cute!Congrats to your new "Babies"!

denise said...

these portraits are fantastic!

dawn said...

They are so cute. We are getting Sel-sex browns again like last year. They are pretty gentle and they got attached to us quickly last year. They are a bit annoying at a year old because they follow us everywhere when we go in to feed them. We are getting our babies July 9th and maybe will every year around that time, because it will be warm and less difficult to adjust the temperature of the brooder. Also, they will be in a garden area when they are outside and won't cause much damage when the potatoes are big and they are small.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for all the nice comments! We had a lot of fun taking the photos, and it really didn't take that long (a minute or so per chick). Although it may be that our chickens are just incredibly clever and photogenic! ;D

twotriplekayaks said...

so cute!!!! what fun!! wish we were there to join in!!

Cheryl said...

Tiffany - I'm sure they'll still be here when you get back! :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails