4 week old survives a cold night

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mark, May 22, 2007.

  1. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Just a little story.

    Yesterday, we had two 4 or 5 weeks old chicks, one black and one brown. I bought them at the local feed store 2 weeks ago for $2 each. They were living in our make shift brooder, inside our make shift feed shed.

    They were checked last night. All was well. This morning, they were both gone!

    It turned out that the cage door had a little play from side to side. When our 11 year old grand daughter checked on them last night, she must have locked them up with the door slid all the way over to one side, and a crack on the other. I had never noticed this feature of the cage.

    We don't know when they left the confines of their constantly lit and heated brooder, but it probably didn't take them much additional time to discover a hole in the feed shed wall. The surroundings are largely covered with a leafy ground cover. It is tall enough for our full grown hen to hide.

    Upon discovering the escape, my wife starting hunting for the missing chicks, calling out for them. Much to her surprise, the larger of the two, the brown chick, emerged from the ground cover and 'came home to mama.' After a brief chase, she was returned to the brooder. The black chick still hasn't been found. It probably didn't make it through the cool night. The low was 66 degrees.

    The recovered brown chick seems to have been very lonely, chirping and running around the brooder. After watching a while, DW decided to go back to the feedstore and get another black chick. It was from the same batch of 4-5 week old chicks, but the price was a bit higher, $2.50.

    When I got home, I wouldn't have even known about the day's adventures if DW had not told me about all the excitement. I'm in charge of 'structures', so I'd better fix the holes this weekend.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  2. Cheeks

    Cheeks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2007
    Ohio
    hahhaa. good [email protected] for thinking on her toes! replacing the missing black baby is definitely the way to go! little browny would probably die of a broken heart by herself [​IMG]
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    We had another sad lesson about raising chicks, today.

    This afternoon, our granddaughter went to the feed shed to check on the chicks. Much to her horror, a rat snake was in the process of swallowing our brown chick. She ran back to the house, a 100 yard dash, grabbed DW and they both ran back to the shed. When they got there, the snake was slithering into the ground cover. Brownie was dead in the cage.

    DW and granddaughter are very upset. Brownie had become very special.

    I hadn't thought about the snakes. I see them from time to time, and appreciated their abilty to catch rats. I forgot they could get into the cage and like to visit the feed shed.

    Blackie, who has only been with us a day, survived. With luck, she will survive the night alone. Blackie gets to life in our haunted house until I can create a snake proof brooder.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Since May, we have continued to have difficulty keeping chickens alive.

    Picking up where I left off, we had 1 chick who survived the snake attack. We immediately purchased the last two chick (same age and breed, barred rock) at the feed store. We now had 4 chickens.

    In June, our 8 month old hen, Speckles, was allowed to sleep in the playhouse. A raccoon dispatched her in the early morning hours. This was the first and only time she had spend the night out of the hen house. That day, we had been keeping the 3 chicks in the chicken tractor, and Speckles had been out foraging (as usual). DW had not gotten home until after dark. Speckles seemed very happy, sleeping in the playhouse. Instead of doing the daily chore of moving the chicks to their wire cage and Speckes to the tractor, she left everyone where they were. It didn't work.

    So, we had 3 pullets.

    2 weeks ago, one of our dogs killed one of the 3 chicks/pullets.

    Last night, One of the two pullets must have had a heart attack. DW found a small snake buried in the hay under the dead pullet. It wasn't a big snake and didn't seem to have done anything to the pullets.

    So, now we have 1.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Aww. Sorry to hear that. Well, it's live and learn right? Time to get some more, try again, and keep them on lock down. Everything is out to get chickens. Hope you have better luck in the future.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    silkiechicken,

    Thanks. All encouraging words are appreciated.
     
  7. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Oh Mark, I am so sorry. You have had a pretty trying time with those chicks. We all need to live and learn, sometimes at the expence of our poultry. Its sad....but it happens. Hopefully you will be able to get a few more, and keep them safe. Good luck.
     
  8. farmgirl2477

    farmgirl2477 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Oviedo, FL
    awww..and I thought I always had the bad luck. Chickens is definatly a live and learn exp, just keep your chin up and try your best [​IMG]

    Shannon
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Shannon and justusnak,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm afraid the little chicks at the feed store look at me in horror when I walk in.
     
  10. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    It happens everyday, just look at the posts! Chickens are dinner to so many so it can be hard to keep them safe. Keep trying and good luck.
     

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