Lost chick!

My best adventure always seem to happen when there’s no time to grab a camera!

Yesterday was such a pretty day that all the chicks were out in the chicken run. Mama took her 7 chickies out, and I took my brooder chicks and stuffed them out the coop door one by one to show them how to get out too. It was a beautiful warm sunny day, and everyone seemed to be having fun exploring.

When I came home from Dog School in the evening, Mama had already taken her chicks back into the coop for the night and had them snuggled up under her, because it was getting cold. I counted the older chicks and found a few missing, so I went and found them and showed them how to go back inside the coop so they could sleep under the heat lamp. When I was done I had all 12 chicks back in the brooder box, and Mama had her chicks under her. At least I assumed she had all her chicks under her!

This morning I let the dogs out and heard a loud PEEP PEEP PEEP that sounded like a lost chick. I put the dogs back in and checked the run – no chick there. I checked the coop – Mama was still snuggling her chickies under her. I counted my brooder chicks again – they were all there. So I walked around to the ‘backyard’ side of the chicken shed – and there, in the morning sunlight, sitting on the woodpile, was a little yellow chickie! It was one of Mama’s chicks!

I tried to  catch it, but it skittered away into the woodpile, which is covered by blackberry vines, and I couldn’t see how I could get it, plus I was getting snagged right and left. So I went and got my heavy gloves and long handled pruning shears, and started clipping away the blackberry vines. Meanwhile the chickie climbed down into the woodpile and got herself hung up between the wall of the shed and a log. I cut back enough blackberry vines to reach her and took off one glove, and used the other gloved hand to pull back the vines and snatched her up before she could get away again!

I took her into the coop and mama had her chicks up and scratching around, and as soon as she heard the chickie peeping she fluffed up and held out her wings and came running towards me! I set the chick on the ground and it ran over to catch up with it’s brothers & sisters, and Mama ran back to them, strutting around and scratching. I told her not to blame me – she’d better learn to count!

Looking into the chicken run I can see where if a clumsy chick slipped off the ramp on the way into the coop they could fall into a crack between the shed and the skirting around the bottom and end up under the coop with no way to get back into the chicken run. Then the only way out would be to travel under the shed and come out on the other side, by the woodpile. So I took some wood over there and blocked the hole so a chick can’t fall in it again. Hopefully they’ll all make it into the coop tonight. I can’t believe that little fluffybutt survived a whole evening outside in the cold by herself!


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