I got my first baby chicks in April - Four Black Sex Links (or Black Sexlings as my husband thought they were called). Couldn't tell one from the other so I named them Eenie, Meenie, Miinie, Mo. Was having so much fun, and so was Rex, that I got five more baby chicks in May - Easter Eggers. Well they were sold to me as Aracaunas and even when I questioned the man, he assured me that's what they were even when I said "but they already have tails and muffs starting". Named them One, Two, Three, Four, Five. Anyway, I've learned a lot about chicks since then and about picking out baby chicks. The most important thing being "Never pick out the baby chick that looks different, walks slowly on tippy toe, has head drawn into body - just because she looks like a baby owl." Ruth, as she would come to be named and believe me there is a Book of Ruth on this one waiting to be written, tried to die on me at around 4 weeks. Found her laying on bottom of cage and could barely tell she was breathing. Nursed her back on her feet only to discover that she could not walk, could only spin in circles, her neck was twisted and her feet paralyzed and she would just fall over. Well, no dying on my watch. Continued to keep her in my bathroom and hand feed her everything I could conjure up that was high in protein and could be dropped down her throat - including multi vitamins and vitamin E. That's how I discovered this site. I was searching for anything I could find on her symptoms and found this site. DLUnicorns site was very helpful - thank you DL. But because I didn't know if she had a disease, botulism, or a vitamin deficiency, I treated all of the above - figured I had nothing to lose since she was "mostly dead" (old Monty Python fan here). Today Ruth is alive and well though only about a fifth of the size of her fellow hatchlings. I guess some might call her a runt but we don't allow that word in this house. While her neck is still a little bent, it relaxes when massaged and she free ranges with the rest. I even started a game post on this site called "Find Ruth" where you'll see the difficulty I have when I have to go out and find her. She blends right in with the dirt, the tree stumps and the leaves. I'll be calling and calling and thinking something got her when suddenly there she is looking up at me as if to say "Yeah, what you want?" She's the only one that's a pet and is handled daily - loves to get on my shoulder, and comes running to me when anything spooks her. I've since named the others "The Reds", "The Blacks", "The White" and of course there's "Ruth".
THE CHICK SHELL-A
Daddy Hen Rex and his babies. Don't know who the mama was but they sure don't look like their daddy. "See, the trick to raising babies is to sleep when they sleep." The whole little family moves outside in new pen. Rex continues to stay with them night and day. Won't let the other pets come near them 4 weeks old and starting to free range. Never out of sight of daddy Rex.
Rex digs a hole under bush and they all climb in for a nap.
"We love to free range"
"We love to free range too." "Hey - over here - GRAPES!!!! "We love it when she leaves the door open." THE END !!!!
I call this "Have a Nice Day" which is what I say as they take off for their day of free-ranging fun.