Monday, June 01, 2009

Chicks, chicks, and more about the chicks

Things around here have been moving at a rate of speed unlike any we've experienced before. I can't keep up with anything!! But this weekend, I made a serious dent in my to-do list and am finally feeling like I'm catching up.

So what have we been up to? Well, remember the baby chicks we hatched? So sweet, and they grow so fast. Not unlike my kids! About a week after our chicks hatched, my friend Kirsten called to say that they had a chick hatch unexpectedly and were headed out of town for 2 weeks. Could we take on another chick while they were gone? Obviously, the hope here was that our mama hen would take care of their baby chick...but that didn't happen. The other chicks were fine with the newcomer, but that mama hen was having no part of it! She would peck at him, squawk at him, and basically beat the heck out of him, so we did what we had to do...brought him in the house, and he lived in a Rubbermaid tote under a heat lamp. Kendall could not have been more pleased! She mothered this little chick like nobody's business. She kept him company, fed and watered him, and even took him outside to let him peck around in the grass. By the end of the two weeks, this little chick thought Kendall WAS his mama. If she put him in the grass and walked away, he would follow her, peeping his little head off. He would ride on her shoulder all around the yard and through the house. It was truly a sight.But then the inevitable happened...Kirsten and her family came back and were ready to come pick up their chick. Now, we had prepared Kendall from day #1 that this was going to happen and she had no illusions that she would be keeping the little dude, but that did nothing to soften the blow. She sobbed and cried, and took the little chick out into the yard for some one-on-one playtime. I even heard her explain that Regan and Cheney would take really good care of him and that he'd be better off with his mama than with our hen who was "being really, really nasty". By the end of the day, she felt better about it...and after much reassurance that we would visit Regan and Cheney over the summer so she could look in on the chick, she was ok.

THEN, that same week, 3 of our baby chicks got snatched by some nasty critter. They were just plain missing. We knew this was going to be rough, especially coming on the heels of sending the little chick off to his home...but what could we do? So we launched a property-wide chick hunt, and employed the kids to help. We find that they are less emotional if they feel they are helping. But alas, no chicks. So we did the only thing we could think to do to keep our little Kendall-bug's heart from breaking. We headed to the feed store and let her pick out 3 new chicks.

Well, that did the trick. She was thrilled, and immediately named them. That was Tuesday. Unfortunately, on Saturday we found bits and pieces of chicks scattered in the coop. It had been a slaughter. Not one chick survived, and one of our hens was killed as well. Luckily, Barry and I found them and cleaned everything up before she could be any the wiser. We just broke the news as simply as we could, and explained that they were "missing". We think it must have been an owl or a hawk, as the chicks couldn't get out of their little pen inside the coop...and there was no way for anything to get in other than to fly in. So, it has been a rough week around here for the Kuck chickens and the Kuck kiddos. The weekend was a challenge, but I think everyone's ok, it's time to move on. But no more chicks until we secure our pen. AGAIN.


Miss Got Wings said...

Awww, poor kids. They're so sweet. They must be crushed. I love how that chick took to Kendall so well (great pic too!). What a good little mama! Hope you're having a better week Jen.

terri said...

Your Kendall is such a little nurturer. How heartbreaking that she had to deal with such loss and tragedy. It's a tough lesson to have to learn.

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