Our first peek at the chicks – everyone seems to be in great shape!All of the chicks were alive and well, and the hatchery included a second Salmon Faverolles male as a bonus. We spent a little while getting the chicks fed and watered, and set up a temporary brooder box for the trip home. We got them home and set up in the main brooder, and everyone seemed to be happy (it’s a little scary in the beginning – there are so many things that can go wrong!). But by Tuesday evening, it became apparent to me that one of the Salmon Faverolles wasn’t doing so well. It was chirping loudly and swaying back and forth on its feet. I kept an eye on it for a while, but by morning it had really gone downhill. I spent all day Wednesday trying to nurse the poor babe back to health, feeding it softened food and vitamin water drop by drop, but nothing seemed to help, and she (he?) got progressively weaker. By that evening, another of the Faverolles was starting to exhibit the same symptoms. I separated them from the others for the night, and by morning, the second one had died. The first one was still clinging to life, but within an hour or two, she was gone too. It still seems odd to me that we would lose two of the same breed for no apparent reason, but one of them did have an eye gummed shut when it arrived on Monday (we managed to soak it open), and two of the Faverolles (we’re assuming these two) were chirping very loudly all the time, as if they were in distress. We were joking about it actually, that the breed we got because they were supposedly so quiet turned out to be the loudest of the bunch. I guess they might have had something wrong with them from the beginning. Now the question is, who survived? Do we now have two Faverolles males? Two females? It even occurred to me that they might have sent an extra because they knew they were having problems with them – who knows. Hopefully it will turn out that we still have one of each. On the bright side, the rest of the chicks are doing really well. They seem to have bonded with us and come running when we go in to see them (especially when they think I’ve brought them corn on the cob!). My daughter and I tried to get some good photos of them when they were about 5 days old so we would remember what they all looked like. Here are the resulting “baby” photos:
As if there weren’t enough things to distract me from blogging, having a box or peeping fluffballs to watch certainly doesn’t help!
The post office in Blaine, WA, called bright and early last Monday (6:15 to be exact), to let us know that the chicks had arrived, and you’d have thought a family member had gone into labor with the flurry of activity that ensued! My mom had offered to pick them up for us, since border rules changed on June 1st, making it so that a passport is required to enter the US, and mine expired years ago. Thankfully the crossing was pretty quick at that time in the morning, so we had only just gotten to Vancouver by the the time they were on their way back. There was a bit of a panic when they couldn’t find the health papers (which were under the chicks inside the box – seems like poor planning to me), but it turns out that it’s suprisingly easy to import live animals into Canada!
The kids have been giving them the occasional bug, and one of the Barred Rocks seems to be the huntress of the group, snapping them up before anyone else knows what’s going on.
We’re enjoying this latest adventure immensely, and in the words of my son, “I want to always have chickens!”