Babies

We have some chickens who insist, and I mean *insist*, that they need to be broody.
Big problem is, we don’t currently have a working rooster.
We lost all our boys over the winter, and none of the oprpingtons or jersey giant boys are ready for working with full sized hens.
Them boys is just too young.
But, one should never let a broody hen go to waste if they can help it.
Last year we had a broody hatch out a dozen ducklings.
So we gave these bitches, who had taken over the cat house from the cats on the deck, duck eggs.

Now, every couple of days I go in and look for chicken eggs and take those away.
Because…egg bombs are gross.
I had found a duck egg with a huge peck/crack in it, so I took it away…only to crack it and find a baby (still breathing) in it.
I can’t convey how awful I felt because there was no way at all to save that baby.
So I did the kindest thing.
And had a good cry afterwards.
😥

Since that egg, I candled the others under the brody chickens, and found 2 that I was pretty sure were rotting, but I left them just in case I was wrong.
Figured if they went past 45 days under the hens (muscovy take 35 days and sometimes longer to hatch) then I’d toss ’em into the fire.
Welp, good thing I didn’t.
This little numpkin was found wandering on the deck:

Hatching and running away from your chicken moms and then being scooped up by a giant and being held is hard work!

After finding this one, I checked the eggs underneath the hens…
Another on had pipped.
Typically after pipping, the chick will “unzip” the egg shell, making it into 2 halves, then kick it’s way out.
Sometimes, that doesn’t happen.
But, we always give the babies the chance to do it on their own.
They’re always stronger if they can get themselves out.

So we waited for the day.
But the 2nd baby didn’t get past the pipping stage.
So I intervened.

I’ve helped many chickens, a few turkeys, but never a duckling.
I don’t know if the blood was normal.
But, if I didn’t get baby out, they were going to die either way.
I figured if they made it through the night, they earned a name.

So, meet Monty…

My brain says Monty ain’t gonna make it…but my heart says it won’t be a for a lack of trying.

🖤
🖤
🖤

I’ll keep y’all posted…