Lone surviver from a brood of 3. What's best for her?

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ThePolishPrincess, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Over the course of the last few months, I've aquired alot of different chickens. And we've had tons of trouble with feather-picking, and an infestation of Northern Fowl mites. Not to mention, I'm trying to train and prepare birds for show in a month. I've been busy.

    We bought 3 day-old Faverolles from Meyer Hatchery because we didn't expect to find other birds we wanted. Not 4 days into their living here, one of the chicks got sick and passed away. She was weak from the beginning. The two remaining birds grew up together and lived off of each other. They were attatched to the hip and seemingly thrived on each other's company. I never wanted that. They both grew to not really want human company. I tend to put alot of myself into my birds to make them social but neglected to do so this year because of all of the business going on. I know the horrible things that can result from only having two chicks. And I'm now living it.

    I've made a bad habit of leaving my birds in the feeding/storage section of the coop. There was a section of the rafters that was never closed off, and I never really thought it would pose an issue. We've had chickens for 3 and a half years and have not lost a single bird to predators. What could happen?

    This morning I woke up to take care of the animals. I opened the coop door and immediately saw that my Polish hen's crate was knocked to the side. I thought one of her free-roaming buddies also in the storage area got a little tipsy. Then I looked under her at the Faverolles' crates and saw only one chick, who looked fantic. I saw the other one's wing outstretched on the outside of the crate and thought it was caught on something. But when I went to help, I pulled her wing and noticed with was detatched from her body. [​IMG] I was absolutely hysterical. Then I noticed the frantic chick was standing on her buddy's lifeless body, or, what was left of it. I ran back to my house and got my dad, unable to face the scene alone. I had already established that a racoon had gotten in, and an innocent bird had to die a horrible death because of my lack of concern. After we removed what was left of Camille's body, still shaking, I took out the remaining chick and held her. Having only been raised with her deceased buddy, and the not-so-often visits from me, that was it for her social life. She had no one else binding her to this world. And now I have to provide her with the love she can no longer attain from her only other broodmate. I cannot even begin to fathom the terrible things she much have witnessed last night and the trauma she must be feeling.

    After cleaning the remains, I took care of the other birds thinking what about the things that had to be done. My father and I established that the rafters had to be fully covered to prevent this from happening again, obviously. And they were shortly after. But as soon as I left, I heard the lone chick crying from her cage. As soon as I went back, she started flipping out and cheeping. I went to her cage and started petting her, until she settled down and snuggled. Before then, she could not bare to be near people, or else be touched by them for only a moment. And now, I'm the only thing she knows anymore.

    After spending the day finishing up chores that had to be done, I let the baby out again and she followed me around like she did her buddy, with alot of playfighting and sharing treats. I know I cannot fill the void in her life where her chicken friend once was. But for now, she has nowhere to go. She's only 2 months old. I was hoping to put her with the adults starting next month, taking her away only to give her her chick food. But this change now stresses things. Monique needs chicken friends. I'm now struggling to choose between doing what's right for her physical well-being, and doing what's right for her heart.
     
  2. sakesler

    sakesler Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2010
    [​IMG][​IMG]:[​IMG][​IMG] hopefully she'll be alright. [​IMG] any pics:
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  3. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll try for pics later. I wish I had old ones, but I'm sorry to say I neglected to take them when she was little. It just rained so its really messy out there and pictures wouldn't do her justice. She seems to be better than I thought she'd be. But she's really easily frightened now. Our duck flew over her head today and she flipped out. She scrambled under a few peices of wood and wouldn't resurface until I got her myself. I hate even thinking about what she must have gone through. But I'm going to give her the love and attention she deserves and spoil her rotten until the new, frightening memories are replaced by happy ones.
     
  4. coquella

    coquella New Egg

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Well, I send my sincere condolences. I have, like yourself had my flock for about 3 years now. 4 Rhode Island Reds Hens and 2 Barred Rocks. A dear friend of mine picked up for me two Silkies last July - one Black Bearded and one White Non Bearded. Adorable and I was hooked. I purchased six fertilized eggs and only two made it - never knew what got them but I assumed it was snakes. We live on a large farm and their coop was surrounded by a large run. Either/or, the two remaining eggs hatched on Memorial Dad and I WAS HOOKED. Just had to have me some more babies and so ordered a clutch of five Silkie Assorted day old chicks and for shipping requirements, they added three more from a straight run featherlegged - identities unknown for a day or so, but I had some Millie Fleur's - little chipmunk darlings. I seriously thought my two Silkie Hens - having the two chicks a few weeks apart would accept these new chicks but that did not happen. So, I used my brooder pen which is an off the ground large rabbit hutch. Small wire, bottom lined with cardboard and the sides were also halfway up. I had a wooden nesting box for them and I was just in my element. How weather has really been hot high 90's today 98. So, I was not worried about warmth and had the pen inside our garage right outside the door so I could keep a check on them.

    To say I know how you feel, I am 53 and I feel like I need to be planning a funeral. Friday morning (25th) I heard my dog barking, around 4 a.m. but did not get up to check. At about 6 a.m. as usual, I was up and out feeding up my chickens and gathering eggs and you could have never prepared me for the horror. A 4.5 ft. black snake had gotten into the brooder pen somehow and you could see the lumps in the snakes body of my babies - all gone but one survivor. This chick was in distress for obvious reason - only reason it survived I presume is that the snake was full or this little guy was one of my most active - managed to evade the capture. In the best interest of this little chick, I decided to take it to a friend of mine who had ordered some chicks from the same place and the hatch date was the same (June 14th). Interestingly enough, a neighboring farmer came to remove the snake from the hutch; this man even accused me of leaving the top of the hutch open (which I did not) becasue he said there was no way this snake could have made it way inside the way I had it secured. Well, it did and my babies are gone and I am still heartbroken. I checked on my little baby and my friend said everything was going well. I have never had any issues with predators - never - until Friday a.m. For sure I will see that horrific picture in my mind and will probably carry the memory and sadness in my heart forever. Mother Naure can be cruel but we have to move on. My Silkie Momma had her two chicks out this morning for the first time when the shadow of a low flying hawk hovered. She immediately opened her wing and safely led them back to the coop and run enclosure. Best of Luck . . . . Cheryl
     
  5. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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