For all you chicken lovers, here is a report on how the flock is doing. On the ride home from Chester Basin, the kids noticed that one of the chicks was pretty sleepy. That isn't uncommon - they do tend to just keel over and sleep anywhere anyhow these first few weeks - like toddlers. But this one was obviously ill - it may have not gotten a fair share of water or feed, or there might have been some other problem.
We set them up in their cozy bin with a warm light, food and water and of course, on the Saturday - I was in and out of Sweet Patootie's workshop a zillion times to check on them.
I noticed the weak one and went and made some sugar water as that will sometimes revive them. I took it out of the bin and put it in the box we'd carried them home in, with water and a light and some food. I helped it drink the water but it wasn't really responding. It must have died a little bit after I moved it. I felt so sad as we hadn't lost any chicks last time. It was a reminder that when you bring animals into your life - you will have to deal with death in some way or another.
The other twelve are doing great - they zoom around all day and night, eating, peeping, drinking and pooping. So busy! And even though it is only the fifth day of having them, they are growing like mad. In a week or two, we'll have to locate a bigger brooder - last time we found a freezer box which was ideal until we put them in the coop. So we're on the hunt.
Right now, care for them is fairly straight-forward - make sure they are warm (we have a light that gives us the 90 degrees neccessary this first week (we raise the lamp every week lowering the temperature by five degrees at a time until it is 70 and they can go into their coop). I clean out their waterer and put fresh water in it about twice daily. We now have a feeder - one SP got yesterday at the feed store with some chick starter so I don't have to throw so much feed in every hour! This morning I put them in the travelling box and dumped the shavings on a pile near my garden to cook a bit. Then I put clean shavings in and put the frantic things back in. I'll do that every few days as they generate a fair amount of poo. I check their tiny fuzzy butts for paste-up - which is just what you imagine and clean it off if I find it. It can be fatal if not taken care of. Other than that, I put my hand in the brooder with feed on it and let them get used to the smell of me and associate it with yumminess. The littlest gaffer always comes over first - he or she is a real goer!
I'll take more pics in a day or two - just think I'll wait until you can see the changes...
So that's it, my dearios - the farm report!
On the gardening front I've dropped the ball. What with the immensely lousy nothing but rainy spring we've had, my general blues and resulting lassitude, I've decided not to push the river. This means I will plant some seeds when the sun comes out, cheat and buy some tomato plants and so forth and not worry about it. See what arises. We do have garlic and strawberries already up and active so...
I'm still knitting and I've chosen a lovely complicated lace stole or scarf thingy to start with. I think I can figure it. Wish me luck! I'm taking the chart in to town today to enlarge - I tried by taking a pic of it and doing it on my computer but it is too frustrating so I'll take it to Kinko's and let them do it.