Sunday, 15 June 2008

A chick update

We installed the chicks in a cardboard box with wood shavings in it along with a bowl of chick crumbs and their water dispenser. The heat lamp is normally used for lambs and we decided it was a bit fierce (based on our extensive or non-existent experience!) and brought them into younger son's room with an anglepoise lamp positioned over the box. Thank you to mountainear for the suggestion. We taped a couple of new but oldfashioned mop heads together (thank you to snailbeachshepherdess) as a surrogate mother and covered some of the top of the box over with the thin insulation sheets from the cold frame, trying to ensure there would still be plenty of air.

They have survived over Thursday night and Friday and Saturday, eating like little chicken horses and adapting to the box so that they no longer huddle frantic in a corner but wander about exploring and peeping. They seem not too interested in the mopheads so we have replaced them with a folded cloth which they are climbing up and down in an exploratory fashiom. They are feathering practically as you watch and with every day must presumably be less vulnerable to the cold. The challenge now is to cope with the fact that we are not here twenty four hours a day and need to be sure there is enough food and water for the times we are away. I would be absolutely gutted if anything happened to them now, both because I put so much time and got so nettle stung rescuing them and because it would feel even more strongly as if it were a failure of our care if they died.

I find myself plotting to see if I can work at home the next couple of weeks. Have I got meetings? Can I do everything by conference call and email and is this fair on the staff who are working for me? I think my commitment to my job would be questioned if I explained that I need to stay home to supervise my chicks but I could do it I think, it is the culture of presenteesim that makes it hard not to show one's face, not a feeling that the job can't be done properly without being in the office. I shall continue to mull it over.

Basil planted out, Ian's tomatoes put out into the greenhouse bed, bread made. So much living to do, so little time.

24 comments:

  1. Take the time to nurture your chicks if you can.

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  2. Good luck with the chicks. Purple power on its way.

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  3. You have put a lot of work into your chicks, they will be fine. They sound pretty well looked after to me!

    CJ xx

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  4. Good for you, what a fine surrogate Mum you have turned out to be - no wonder they're not interested in the mop head. I hope they, and you, go from strength to strength.

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  5. Glad to hear chicks doing well so far, know what you mean you want to be there for them. Good Luck!

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  6. Glad they're doing well, it sounds like they are in very capable hands. x

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  7. I've just read what happened to your hen and chicks. I do hope the little survivors are doing well.

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  8. Elizabeth, what you have been writing this past week has really got me thinking about just how our normal life assumptions about what tomorrow will be, can so suddenly be changed. There are many catalysts that might jump start our awareness this way.

    Your initial response to the broody hen, and all that has followed is just so full of goodness.

    Best wishes to you and to those feathering chicks.

    xo

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  9. I hope you're able to find a way to work from home. I would imagine you'd be anxious if you have to be so far away.

    I think you're doing a wonderful job with the chicks. They are so lucky you found them when you did.

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  10. I'm so glad to hear the remaining chicks are doing so well after such an awful shock.

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  11. Could you take the chicks to work? Everyone would have a fun day!

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  12. glad they're on the mend, well done you! what did the dogs' owners say about all this??

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  13. Mopheads! Genius! Even if they didn't take to them I now have the most marvellous pic in my mind.

    So pleased to hear they're doing well. Sod the work, but I like Lindsay's idea of take a chick to work day.

    A chick today. Take a pony to work day next week. Take a frog to work day. The possibilities are endless.

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  14. Phew. Thank goodness. They will probably ne okay on their own for short periods. Our school chicks were left overnight and one little blighter managed to get the mesh lid off the cage thing and was pottering about the classroom the next morning!

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  15. Oh do i agree - not enough time in the world is there? Glad the littles are doing well Elizabeth xx

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  16. They're obviously little fighters, Elizabeth - so pleased to hear they're making such good progress.

    Is it not possible to take them to work (obv. everybody doesn't have my kind of lifestyle where work = kitchen table with dog at feet and washing draped on nearby airer!) Alternatively, do you have a friendly teenager in the village who might be only too happy to pop over two or three times a day - now the GCSEs are (just about) finshed, I've got no end of 16-year-olds volunteering to take the dog out for an hour or two. Just a thought.

    Wishing you and them all the very best. x

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  17. I hope everything continues to go well, really glad they are doing so well.

    Zoë

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  18. Oh keeping everything crossed for them. Hmm, how about suggesting that the farmer (owner of the dog wot did the deed) could earn back a few brownie points by looking after the orphans while you're away? Jxx

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  19. Some great suggestions about surrogate chick care here. In the end I stayed home and am trying to work here though mysteriously unable to settle to anything. The owners of the dogs have brought down two gorgeous David Austin roses as a so sorry present and the chicks are just wandering about peeping and eating. Caught one trying to fly up onto the edge of the cardboard box today so they are obviously not fading away.

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  20. Thank you for the update - I've been thinking about how things were progressing. Sounds promising - it's just they look such little scraps of things.

    I personally think that the world would be a finer place if staying home to nurture whatever small and frail thing was valued - and the norm. (I've no illusions that that will never be the case though.) Well done.

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  21. I hope the chicks are continuing to do well, sounds like the fun is just beginning as they are getting bigger and growing in confidence daily. You have done a brilliant job.

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  22. I'm glad to read that the chicks seem hale and hearty. Do you have a neighbour who might "chick-sit" for you whilst you're away? Wish I was nearer, or I would offer myself! It must be very difficult trying to cut yourself in half and live two totally seperate lives, one to support the other. Touch base - let the earth heal you.

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  23. I once called in to work to say I had to stay home to nurse a sick parrot . . . poor thing had had a stroke . . with a lot of TLC it survived - although had trouble walking properly, but it adapted well.

    Hope your chicks do well.

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  24. Hope the chicks continue to do well Elizabeth, you will be a wonderful surrogate mother to them.

    My love and hugs to you.

    xx

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