Yesterday was big day here at home. My “baby” turned 7; we had company; I had a luncheon, and a staff meeting. I headed out early in the am to get a cake mix and my son called to let me know chick were here!
Do I need to tell you it was a fast trip in and out of the store? We got our new babies home, and put them in the brooder. Last week, when we got the extra three, we knew we were rapidly running out of room in the original brooder. Hunny started working on a bigger place for them, but as of yesterday morning, he wasn’t done.
There was no doubt that the babies would get trampled and smooshed if we didn’t get the other one finished soon. Hunny had planned on painting this one bright red, to match the barn/tractor/coop, but time was of the essence.
By the time he finished in the evening, we both knew painting wasn’t going to happen. Into their new digs they went!
Things went along very well until we were ready for bed at 9:30 pm.
And then somehow, we had a crisis. Pumpkin (second batch of chicks) started pecking at Butternut’s (first batch of chicks) tail feathers. Then there was blood.
Something to know about chickens is that they don’t clot real well. Blood on a chicken will cause the others to peck at it mercilessly. If this isn’t caught, the others will peck the bleeding one to death.
Bad news. Panicked mama. Crying kids. Late night.
I got the bleeding to stop, but didn’t have any Blu Kote, which is blue due to the gentian violet in it. (gentian violet made me giggle, because this is something frequently recommended to nursing mothers who have thrush, which is a yeast infection on the nipples and in baby’s mouth; bad, bad stuff - but I digress ). There’s other stuff in Blu Kote besides the gentian violet.
Because it was late at night and everything was closed, the only course of action was to separate poor Butternut overnight. Now the question was, how do I keep her warm overnight? I only had the one brooder light.
I filled up the hot water bottle and covered it with a towel. But I wasn’t happy. Then, I got the brainy idea to put the original brooder into the new, bigger brooder. We measured it, and lo and behold, it fit, with a ton of room to spare. So in it went.
My son stayed up all night. Well, all night until he fell asleep. I went to bed around 11:30 pm; was up around 1:30 am; back up about 3:45 am, at which point I sent him to bed since he was asleep in the recliner. I was back up before 6 after getting back to bed around 4:45 am.
I ran off to Tractor Supply first thing in the morning to get the Blu Kote. It has not been easy to get Butternut back in the mix without Pumpkin picking at her. So much so that Pumpkin got a time-outs in the smaller brooder. And then someone picked her open again, so stop bleeding, reapply Blu Kote, dry, reintroduce. When Pumpkin tries to pick- she gets a time-out. I am pretty sure Butternut will be isolated again tonight.
And to top it all off, we’re getting a foster chick this afternoon. This chick is the same age as my older girls (2 weeks today) and is the only remaining chick out of a flock of 20. Apparently, one of the kids (prolly their neighborhood kids) left the back door open and in came then family dog, who found the chicks in the stock tank in the house. By the time they got in, there was only one chick that was still alive.
She is going to order more, but until they come, we’ll be keeping the chick so that she can be socialized. Normally, the suggestion is to quarantine, but given that her chicks and mine started out together and that neither hers nor mine have been around any other birds (including wild birds), it should be ok.
I really hope it’s not another long night, because I am wiped out! I have to say, I am not used to this amount of excitement at any one time. Whew! Here’s hoping there are no more injuries and no more excitement!