Thursday, September 12, 2013

Little Birds

Monday night when I went out to do the evening chores I heard a familiar, sweet sound --the peeping of new chicks, But it was faint and took me a while to find the nest, tucked away up in the loft of the barn. A hen had  laid her eggs in an an old tub we had used for mixing concrete. About 15 chicks had just hatched out, nestled in a little pile but not under the hen (it was about 105 degree heat index that day!) and she was still sitting on a few more eggs.
I evaluated the situation and decided this was my best opportunity to move the nest --in another day or two the chicks would be out and about and difficult to catch in the loft with so many hiding places.And if the hen decided to lead them outside, the only way for them to get out would be to tumbled down to the ground. I covered  the  tub with another big tub and carefully  carried it down the ladder (I was wearing a big skirt and had a flashback of the last time I wore a big skirt on ladder and tipped over, breaking four bones - so I was extremely careful.)
I moved them to the stall I use for a  milking parlor, where I could close the door to protect them from cats, dogs and other chickens. There are 17 chicks now - a pretty big family for one hen to keep track of. Last year we only had a few chicks survive to adulthood - most were lost to a feral cat and a raccoon. I hope these chicks make it. This morning the hen was leading her brood around the stall and showing them how to scratch for food.
When Zinnie suddenly trotted up behind me, the hen puffed up to twice her normal size and chased poor Zinnie all the way out of the barn.
The hummingbirds are now bringing their kids to the feeder. The babies are so tiny and adorable. Although I already had five feeders hanging, they only really drank out of this classic-style feeder, so I bought another one and filled it and hung it this morning. While I was hanging it the hummers were zipping around my head, whirring past my ears, sometimes hovering right in front of my nose looking me straight in the eye. It was so much fun, I was laughing out loud.

Here is a snippet of the hummers in action around the new feeder. 


Tyche's Minder said...

17 chicks all at once! I'm amazed. I hope they make it.

Marie said...

zinnie gets in on all the action doesn't she!