I wanted a baby chick. But realized I could just play and cuddle with all the little ones around our place instead. Plus, it was easier than trying to figure out how to take care of a baby chick-with no source of constant electricity to have a bulb to keep it warm. But, things changed. Two days ago I was outside and heard incessant chirping. I finally decided to track it down and see what was going on. Turns out, I found the nest where all the new little chicks had hatched! It was in a cactus fence, egg shells everywhere. But there was one little slimy black one, lying there, chirping and chirping.
I told the two guys who live here and take care of the grounds, they told me the mom would find it and take care of it. All day this tiny thing chirped. Finally it stopped. The next day, I saw it wondering around with the mama who already had four chicks. Brandon and I were trying to figure out what happened. Did this one just hatch late? Did it have a different mom, who abandoned it, and thus this one was taking care of it?
Neither. As I sat on our porch watching the mama and chicks I noticed the mama was not really taking care of the fuzzy new black chick. She was tolerating it. She would sometimes let the black one underneath her, and sometimes she started pecking at it to make it go away. A few times she pecked so much and so hard, I jumped up out of my chair to scare her off. I felt so sorry for it, being as it was only one day old!! I felt like I was watching a scene from high school-where the mean girls are picking on some poor new girl… and she just stood there and took it.
Well, if that was all that happened, I wouldn’t be writing this. That afternoon, as I was hanging clothes on the line (humming little house on the prairie tunes-okay not really) Brandon brought be something. It was the little black chick. She had a huge gash in her neck! It was bleeding. She was crying-okay, chirping but it felt like crying! I rushed her inside only to realize I didn’t know what to do. I looked to my medical expert husband who laughed and said he can help people and knew nothing of how to deal with chicks-ain’t that the truth!! haha He decided she needed anti-bacterial stuff. We thought neosporin might be too much, so we used a spray. She freaked out as we blew anti-septic stuff in her face (well, her neck, but she’s so tiny it’s all the same thing!) She screamed. Okay, chirped really loudly. Brandon and I wondered if it stung-poor thing. She finally calmed down and fell asleep in my hand. And, well, from that point, we decided to take her in. We put her in a large rubbermaid container, along with some grass, and some food. Brandon even made her a cardboard house. He’ll pry be mad I told you this-but it was so sweet of him!
We couldn’t figure out what was going on. If the mom tried to kill her, if that chicken was even her mom or what. We weren’t even sure she would make it through the night, she looked pretty bad. It sounds silly- but I prayed for the little chicky. One thought kept coming to mind, that God sees each sparrow that falls, and He cares. And, he cares about the things that concern us, so I talked to Him about her. I asked Him to heal her if He wanted to. It was long night. Turns out she needed a light on her all the time, cause she’s only 2 days old and so tiny.We have a flash light that uses huge re-chargeable batteries, and positioned it so she could be right under it and stay warm. Only, they only lasted about two hours each. I would wake up to some serious chirping and have to swap out for a new battery. Thankfully, we have six, and she was kept warm all night. And, she made it through the night!!
I have not named her yet. I have a problem getting attached to things quickly-so I think I’ll hold off one more day to name her. I did find out something interesting though. I read up about chicks-I’m learning lots really-on what to feed them, not feed them, how to show them things, etc. Life is a bit rougher when you don’t have a mom. Okay, a lot rougher! Poor thing not only doesn’t have a mom, but had one that tried to kill her!!! Turns out, when a mom has chicks, and they hatch too many days apart, the mom will basically abandon or even kill the other chicks. Let me explain. Mom had about 8 eggs in her nest. Four hatched the same day, or maybe one day apart. Then, about 3 or four days later, along came our black chick. Experts say if 3 or more days pass between hatchings, the mom will think they are not hers. Then she’ll just ignore the other eggs if they have not hatched, ignore any newly hatched chicks, or even try and kill them. Well, poor blacky fell under the last. Hence why she chirped and chirped all day and mama ignored her-and then later tried to peck her to death. uh. It was awful. Check out her battle wounds…
Today was better. All day long I kept thinking of that old story that was read to me when I was little, called “Are you my mother?” It was pretty funny to watch her seem attached to the flashlight-cause it kept her warm. Then, Brandon and I went outside with her and she kept following us everywhere. She’s confused poor thing, but looks better today. I’ll keep ya posted on little black chicky…