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Leaving the Nest

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The chicks had their first outing today! I kept looking in on them today because they seem pretty lively and I expected that they would leave the pot and get stuck. Sure enough I did find a little black & yellow chick out of the pot, peeping because it couldn’t get back. I was delighted to pick it up and check it out-feathered feet! But after it happened twice we had to find a solution.  We put some barriers up and pushed the hay up to make it more level with the pot. Then a little board to put the water and food on and that was all the encouragement needed. Mother Hen came on out with a big stretch. She hasn’t been off that nest in over a week-can you imagine? She was pretty excited by the food and drink.  So were the babies! Unfortunately most of my pictures were blurry. But here’s several to enjoy:
First Outing

First Outing

First Outing

This is what mother looks like when she gets big and protective (it’s blurry, but you can use your imagination to get it in focus)
First Outing

It was great to see them up close and they were adorable. I could also see fully the remaining eggs. It looks like one of them started to hatch and then stopped. So, ew.
I had planned to write pretty much the above post when we got back tonight from going out. Unfortunately, as we were leaving we went in the garage for one more peek at them. It appeared that all three were out, down by the food, with the mom. However, I could only see two hopping about. When the mom stood up to usher them back to the pot I saw that the third chick was underneath her, dead. It must have just happened since we’d seen them all less than half an hour before. It was warm and soft and quite limp-a good size, so I don’t think it was natural causes. I’m guessing that the mother may have stepped on it and accidentally broken its neck?? I was totally shocked. After all that work of incubating, hatching, clucking, and warming, in an instant the fragile little thing died. So, sadly, now we are back down to two.
First Outing

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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