Friday, October 29, 2010
Hen and Chicanery
The cows had seen me and were jogging toward me to be fed. I ran to get them some hay to keep them occupied so they wouldn't step on any other chicks. Then I scooped up an armful of chicks, raced to the coop and dropped them inside, ran back and nabbed Lacey and the rest of the chicks.
It was very cold last night, too cold even inside the coop for these tiny chicks, so I put them in a cardboard box inside a large dog crate and let them stay in my office overnight. Lacey seemed to like this royal treatment and has been purring over her eleven chicks all day. She has never seemed like the most clever of chickens, but she does seem to be an attentive mother.
This weekend is supposed to be a bit warmer, so I will move them all to the coop if I can devise a way to keep them cozy and safe. With days so short now they won't have as much feeding time and with temps so cold they will use up most of their energy keeping warm and may not thrive. I will have to provide heat and light.
I don't know whether to be annoyed or charmed by Lacey, this hen who was so determined to raise a family. She tried to hatch several clutches of eggs unsuccessfully last summer. A month ago I took away her nest of eggs because we didn't want any more chicks, especially with fall coming. She seemed to adjust, then disappeared. I was sad, resigned to the fact that the owl must have gotten her. But no! She was hiding her nest--it was so well hidden I still don't have a clue where it was.