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Date Posted: 19:10:39 06/22/08 Sun
Author: Rhonda
Author Host/IP: 76.1.177.223
Subject: Hello

For those who have been reading the past few weeks, our two silver chicks are healthy and growing like weeds. Before we left on vacation, we were expecting some incubator chicks from our normal pair. They never hatched, but one hen started sitting. Thomas advised me to put the incubator eggs under the sitting hen. The new surrogate parents were curious about the new eggs (knew right away that they didn't belong). However, the mom took the eggs in, but the dad did not! He started pecking at one, making a hole. It was quite tragic, even my husband was in an uproar! I took that egg out and called Thomas right away. While talking with Thomas, the dad started pecking another egg. Unfortunately, both the eggs had viable chicks in them theat needed another day or two. We left on Tuesday, and I tried to instruct the bird sitter of all the necessary info if any more chicks hatched. One chick hatched sometime on Thursday. The chick was shivering and weak when the sitter checked in. She called me, and I told her to put the heat lamp on the cage. However, when we arrived home on Saturday night, the baby was alone, weak, and had curled toes on both feet. The heat lamp was not situated properly to provide enough heat. Poor little brown and yellow striped baby died just a bit ago. Some lessons learned here. Surrogate moms may work, but probably a good idea to remove any males. Best to have chicks when the bird owners can be at home to monitor the situation. Also, one of our peckers started up again, so the sitter tried moving the female with another bird. Got pecked. Moved again. Got pecked. I don't know exactly how it happened, but about five birds were all in different homes! I've got them all separated now, except for two silver males. Can't figure out who's who! Maybe a puppy would be easier???

We go away again on Friday for another week. Without any baby chicks to care for, I think everything will be okay. If our normal hen, Nutmeg, contintues to lay, I'll let Thomas incubate some more eggs when he gets home. I'm glad he didn't have to deal with this.

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