Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death in the Morning

On Saturday, I bought 8 chicks from the chick man at our feed store, who was having "Fall Chick Days".  Normally, you buy chicks in the spring.  His idea was a good one... get your chicks now, and by spring, the pullets will be ready to lay for you.  Since I need replacements, I realized it was a good idea for me. 

So... I bought two Buff Orpingtons, two Golden Comets, and two Ameracaunas, which were 3 days older than the others.  I was totally captivated by the boxes of tiny straight run bantams he had... and ended up buying two Porcelain D'Uccles (which he called "Dee Uccles").  All were healthy, and after being put in the nursing cage and a light put on them, began eating and drinking with relish. 

Yesterday morning, after a restless night... I went out to find a 4 foot long black snake in the cage with them.  Four chicks were already gone, and one of the Ameracaunas was smothered and dead.  The three survivors were pressed into a corner, trying to get away from the predator.  I ran in to call Keith, who turned around in his journey to work, and back he came.  Then I ran back out to see the snake going for the other chicks, and lifted him out with a broomstick, shooing him away into a corner.  Keith was able to reach the three survivors, who were transferred into a more secure cage and moved to the workshop WHERE WE FOUND A SEVEN FOOT LONG SNAKESKIN LAST NIGHT.  They are fine this morning under their light, and maybe I can reach the chick man and get a few more replacements for the replacements.  In the meantime, Silka and Rosewitha are on eggs at the WRONG time of the year, so tonight there are going to be two very upset hens who are going to be rousted off the eggs they have collected so carefully. 

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