Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Life and death; it's all education

Two bits of news:

The triops have died, as I predicated they would (with their ideal lifespan that just about lasts as long as the novelty of having them). Now we have to drain off the water (and dead triops) and dry the sand out. Then hopefully start up again (assuming that they've laid eggs in the sand).

And great news! We have an addition to the family! One chick has hatched.

Here it is at the beginning:

Then the day after it hatched:

And then today, just two days after hatching (I think it's gonna be a big bruiser):

There was a second chick on the way, it seemed lively but for some reason it didn't get out the shell alive.

2 of the 6 eggs were duds I think as the hen cracked and ate them a few weeks ago. No sign of anything from the remaining eggs: one of them she kicked out - completely out- of the coop a couple of days ago. I popped it back under but it was cold, possibly another dud one? So pinning our hopes on one egg really, which doesn't seem to be doing anything. Coudl be we end up with just one chick. I just hope it's not a cockeral cos with just one chick we're going to get very attached and I dont' think it'll be easy taking it for 'a walk in the woods' as planned.

Dd has had a quick lesson in life and death. She took the death of the chick extremely well really for a 6 year old girl. Though I must admit when we found the mother hen eating the dead chick today, both of us thought we'd rather not stop and look...eek. Perhaps I should have removed it, but I figured I'd leave it up to the mum to do what was needed and kick it out of the nest; didn't want to upset her into leaving the eggs. Ah well, that's what nature is all about.


globeonmytable said...

I suppose that the hen eating the dead chick is only recycling and nourishing herself. Maybe it keeps other predators away because they wouldn't be able to smell the dead chick.

Carolyn said...

I always find it hard when we lose a chick. Although not so difficult when it is under a broody. When you use an incubator, it always seems so personal. I always blame myself, even when I know it isn't my fault.
Your new addition looks lovely though!!! Fingers crossed its a hen!!!