Chicks hatch on Croft 3. Our second celebration of new life in as many weeks. The broody hen has been tenacious in her efforts, bloody minded in her will to succeed and determined to make this happen despite what gets chucked at her in the way of weather. She reminds me of someone….
Ady found a dead chick beside her this morning when he went to feed the animals. Chickens will do a very brutal cull themselves on chicks they think won’t make it. Infact the broody hen often casts out eggs mid incubation which when we have cracked open we have found to have part formed chicks inside. We have always assumed the broody hen has some sort of spooky sixth sense about whether the chick is healthy and makes a decision. We have known several at-hatch culls at the hands (beaks?!) of the mother hen in the past too and they seem to know what they are doing no matter how brutal it seems to us. As Star said matter of factly earlier ‘she needs all her time and energy to dedicate to the healthy chicks that will make it, she can’t be worrying about the ones that won’t survive without loads of help’. So evil Tory hen or natural at it’s most efficient finest – you decide… In the past we have removed an ailing and picked on chick and raised it ourselves which if we’d been around this morning to witness the hatching and events afterwards we may well have done but we weren’t and while livestock losses always hit us hard emotionally with a lesser financial impact we are philosophical about the reality of this way of life.
Anyway, when I returned home after lunch and checked on the animals I was delighted to see two fluffy, healthy chicks in the coop.
Dragon also did some fab sketches – one of a red deer stag infront of Hallival, another of the view from where he was sitting looking out through the window. Both children are really coming on in leaps and bounds with their art, developing their own unique styles and creating pieces of art they are justly proud of. I guess with inspirational landscapes and material like they have constant access to it makes it easy!