Caring for baby chickens

This story begins a few months ago, when we realised that one of our baby chickens was a Rooster.  Well we have had a Rooster before, he was fondly known as Roostey.  He was rather noisy or should I say very noisy at all hours of the early morning.  So with much fuss and a few tears from Sean (my middle son) we gave him to a nice new home with a lovely family, they ensured he would be well loved.  Believe me, I did check and make sure he wasn’t going to end up as dinner.

We purchased some more young chickens for the boys to raise and once again ended up with another Rooster!! I thought “here we go again”.

 

Well he surprised us all with his civilised crowing times and he has been allowed to stay.  Sean was obviously very pleased with this outcome and we now hoped to have baby chickens.

 

It wasn’t long before we noticed a couple of our chooks becoming rather broody and sitting on their nest.  After YouTubing “How to find out if your eggs have babies”?  We discovered that we do have babies!!!  In order to “save” the little chicks we moved them to a hutch up on our balcony with the mother.  We then found out that this is one of the worst things that you can do, as the mother chook never returned to her nest and trust me, we tried to make her sit on it.

We moved her back to the chook house and to my relief it wasn’t long before she was sitting on a nest of eggs again.  Having learnt our lesson we left her alone and let nature take its course.

 

Then one day to our delight, as if from nowhere, appeared this gorgeous little yellow ball of fluff on legs.

 

The boys were so excited!  All up we had five little chickens hatch.  The last one to arrive needed a little assistance and was hence called Lucky.  Sadly he wasn’t so lucky as he drowned in the chook’s water the next day – another lesson learned.  We now have a shallow dish for water.

All went well for a few days with our four little babies until one went missing.  Knowing that our chook pen is not snake proof we had to think of a way to keep them safe at night.

We decided that the best place for them was in the entrance to the Avery in between the two doors.  So every night they went in with the Mums and out again each day.  All three boys were thrilled with their baby chicks, but most of all Sean, he would have slept outside with them if we gave him half a chance.

It happened the week that Sean went off to school camp, he was only gone three days, which makes the guilt even worst.  It was on the second day that he was away and we had forgotten to put the chicks into the Avery enclosure.  My eldest reckons he saw them in the morning, but when Rob (my husband) went down to the chook house he noticed that we had no baby chickens.

I went down to the chook house in complete disbelief, like there had to be at least one left.

 

I searched everywhere, I even told the mother hens off for being so careless with their babies, how could they lose them? What a hypocrite!

 

The night before we had been so busy with afterschool activities, groceries all getting in late that I forgot.  As simple as that – I forgot!!

Knowing that Sean would be absolutely devastated and having to break this to him when he got home – I cried.

I cried for the chickens, I cried for Sean, but mainly I cried for myself.  The guilt of knowing that he was only away for three days and I couldn’t even look after his precious pets.

 

Once again a timely reminder when juggling life/work/family that if you have so many balls all up in the air at once it is inevitable that one will drop.  You’re only human.  It is just important to remember that when you do drop a ball that it isn’t one of the big ones.

 

I am pleased to say that he actually took it better than I thought.  I had prepared what I was going to say and wait till he got home first.  Well, Kace (5 year old) beat me to it.  No sooner had Sean hopped off the bus that Kace was running towards him yelling “Sean, all the chicks have gone”.  As you can imagine, I was speechless, once the band aid was off there was no way of putting it back on.  Possibly the best outcome as he was too tired to really process it.

I was off the hook.

“Phew” was all I thought.

Normality was restored… for now.

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