"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Better Luck This Time, Chicks!

I didn't blog about this, because it made me so sad. Remember all the little bantam chicks that I bought at the feed store and slipped under the hen whose eggs didn't hatch? Well they all died. Every last one of them. One at a time. It was terrible. The first one that died, something bizarre and inexplicable happened to it: it somehow got stuck to it's mother's chest and she squished it. It was actually hanging from her body for a whole day before I found it. Where's the missing chick? Ewwwww, there it is. It was really stuck, too. I had to tug hard to get it off, but I couldn't figure out what made it stick there. Anyway. 

One more got stuck in the chicken wire of the coop and died of cold at night. The others just disappeared, one by one. Hawks? A rat, skunk, weasel, raccoon, possum? My own cat? Any of these things are possible. I kind of soured on chicks after that, but these darn broody hens are terrifically persistent. They absolutely insist on brooding. Yesterday, three chicks hatched.

There's one that I think isn't going to make it. It's much smaller than the others and not as fast. Okay, I admit it. I helped it out of the egg after it looked like it wasn't going to be able to do it by itself. I know. I know. Just prolonging the inevitable. But it was PEEPING. 

The other two look great. This time, I'm going to keep them in the mama barn as long as I can, until they are quite a bit bigger than the last batch. About half-hen sized, say. I hope they make it. My kids are getting pretty inured to farm animal death. "Oh," they said, looking at the littlest chick. "I think that one's half dead already." 

On a cheerier note, here's my haul this week from veggie man, my newest trade network contact. He's the guy with the commercial organic farm. What you see above is five pounds of snap peas, three bunches of the biggest radishes you ever saw, and about a pound of various baby lettuces and greens. That's $20 worth of produce, in exchange for 8 dozen eggs. Normally I sell the eggs for $3/dozen, but we decided it would be easier to make it ten bucks a week even. He's very generous with the produce. 

I'm planning to pickle a few pints of peas and just eat the rest like candy. My girls go nuts for them. Once the kale fairy starts bringing me veggies too, we'll be rolling in them. We'll eat so much chlorophyll, our eyes will turn green.


AnyEdge said...

What a sad, disgusting, story.

ChristyACB said...

So sorry that happened. Sometimes it just happens that way with chicks, doesn't it.

Veggies look mighty tasty!

Aimee said...

and yet, bro, you think we should eat the pony. The attrition rate of chicks is sad and disgusting. They just aren't hardy enough to survive around here very long, I guess. I am going to try to protect these ones as long as I can. Hope they make it.