Thursday, June 30, 2011

Miranda and Chick - R.I.P.

Miranda was one of our favorite chickens. She was hand raised by Adhina and Serena (at that time known as Pirate). She was genuinely nice to people and curious and liked to be picked up and petted and such.

A few months ago she got broody and started sitting on eggs in the barn. At first we discouraged her, but later we gave her a few to hatch out. She had another hen who was broody too and was trying to sit on the same eggs. So we let them share the eggs. Only one egg hatched, but both hens did their best to mother the chick. They were very cute.

We had a problem though. The red barn is not a very safe place for a hen to stay the night, but even less safe for a chick. So we put them in a cage and feed and watered them in the cage. After a couple weeks of that we moved them into the auxiliary coop with the 11 chicks that were hatched out by Childrens House and E1. They lived in the cage in the coop for a couple days and then we released them with the 11 chicks. The hens immediately terrorized the other chicks (presumably to protect their chick).

So then we put the two hens and chick in the regular coop in the cage. After a couple days to try to get them used to sleeping in the coop we released them in the coop. They did fine, but that night they were back in the red barn. They were sleeping in the hay feeder inside of the llama pen, so we thought they might be safe. And they were, for a week. Then one morning Miranda was gone. Vanished, without a trail of feathers or anything. Then two mornings later the chick was gone and the other hen was missing feathers. She was just walking around the red barn clucking for her chick. Very sad.

Tonight we'll forcibly move her to the chicken coop. They had survived for months in the red barn, but we should have known better.


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