Monday, 4 July 2011

Lonely Chick Saga

We bought six hatching eggs on the internet at the beginning of June. It always amazes me that they survive the post - they are packed very securely in polystyrene moulded trays and we have never found a broken one.

We have, however, had dissappointing hatching rates both times we have used purchased eggs. The first time we tried this before we bought an incubator, our bantam light sussex sat on them. It was very hot and dry that summer, and only one hatched.

This wasn't a huge problem, as the chick had it's surrogate 'mother' to keep it company. However, when only one of the six eggs we bought hatched, with no surrogate, we were in trouble. Being flocking creatures, chickens go a bit loopy left on their own and it is deemed cruel by hen experts.

So, the rush was on to try and find some companions for it. After three days and numerous frantic phone calls, we found a breeder who was going to kill off his male chicks (they breed layers). The fact that they were male was not a problem, as we were after chickens to raise for the table, so we took six.

For a little while, the lone chick (the black one) stood on the sidelines feeling a little awkward...

But after a couple of hours it was huddled together with the rest of the flock, and the lonely chick was lonely no more. Aww...

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