Had my first (and second!) chick crisis this morning...hadn't even finished my coffee yet, dammit! One of my little Sussex had a pasty butt. She was NOT happy with me, glaring at me the entire time I ran her little toosh under some warm water to loosen it up. She's all clean now, put a little bacitracin on it to keep it lubed and poop-free. I'm noticing now, though, that she's smaller than the other Sussex girls that I got. Her whole backside doesn't look quite as "developed" as the others, like her butt is too short or something. I guess chickens have runts of the litter, too, right? Maybe she's just a late bloomer? Or am I in for a heartache if I get too attached?
Second crisis, still only half-way through my first cup of coffee...another of the babies got her head stuck in the wire frame under the MHP. I peeked in there and saw her little head up over the bar, eyes closed - Talk about HEART ATTACK!! She was fine. Apparently, it's the in thing to try to sleep like that because another one did it too. Gah! I decided to thwart off any further issues by covering the wire with the press 'n seal (I'm still so impressed by that stuff because it's so new to me! What's the saying...simple minds? LOL). Anyways, long story short, I learned that press -n -seal sticks to chicks, and vice versa. Who knew?!! Funny now. Wasn't so funny while it was happening. Would have made an awesome episode of Laverne & Shirley, let me tell you. I also learned that you cannot efficiently make renovations with the chicks present. Duly noted. Ended up taking all the littles out of the kennel and putting them in a box with some shavings. Took out the wire frame, covered it completely with the p 'n s and put everything back together. Phew!
Back to my little crusty butt, who I think I'm going to call Squeaker...she appears to be eating and drinking okay, and she is active, but she is squawking quite a bit. Nothing too obnoxious, but definitely not your regular cheep cheep of a content chick, more like a half-way distress call, or maybe like an "I'm annoyed?" Some of the other chicks are already sleeping on top of the MHP, so I don't think she's cold, and it shouldn't be too warm in the cave as the temp reads between 78-80 depending on ambient room temp, so....??? I'm guessing I just keep an eye on her for now? Is there anything I should be doing for her or looking out for, besides more butt-junk?
On a lighter note, the chicks had their first little pecks at some grit, and out of my palm at that, so now I can give them some hard-boiled egg later as a treat. I'm excited to watch THAT whole circus! I also made my first nipple waterer out of a small plastic coffee can. A few of the babies have already started pecking at it, but because I'm worried they won't know enough to keep drinking, (and also for Squeaker) I have the other water in there still. I figure, since they're only a week old, they've got time and the room to be spoiled, and it's more important for them to have adequate water while they're little. Am I worrying too much?