Day Twenty Two

October 26, 2008 § 1 Comment


Poppy and chicks, day 22

Poppy and six of eight chicks

We have eight chicks, beetling around. Including (drumroll please) … #6! 


A bit of a saga for this little girl, but I’m hopeful.
To recap: egg #6 was the one that had some odd mottling at one end of the shell, and what looked like two voids on first (and second) candling. Then some time between days 8 and 15 the egg was cracked – picked up on second candling, although you could see it easily enough with the naked eye. After consulting the oracles at BYP, we sealed the cracks with clear nail varnish, and crossed all non-vital organs. And last night the egg was definitely pipping – cheeped loudly when I lifted it out to check (having just confirmed that #4 hadn’t made it). So I tucked the egg back under Poppy and spent most of the night fretting about what I would find in the morning.

This morning she (I think she’s a she) had managed to chip most of the way round the shell, but that was all. And she wasn’t cheeping much, or loudly. (Did I mention we were in a freezing south-westerly shower at the time? We were. Delightful hatching weather.) So I used a trick that was suggested in part by Liselle, and in part by things I’d read in various places: wring out a wash cloth in hot water, and gentle press it over the egg shell to boost the humidity and soften the membranes a bit. (Caveat: I have no idea if this is a good or bad idea. If you try it, I take no responsibility for the consequences.) The chick responded by cheeping a bit louder, so I tucked her back under Poppy.

An hour later I checked again. She’d finished chipping around the shell, so I very carefully remove the top bit (see previous caveat!) and tucked her back under Poppy (again) to finish the job on her own. And an hour after that, the remains of shell had been kicked out of the nest, and the chick was tucked under mum, drying off.

Victory! (Well, of a sort.)

She’s noticeably less active than the others, but then they have 24 hours on her. As best I can remember she looks the same as they did, that amount of time after hatching. Fingers crossed, but at least I can feel confident that she’s been given a chance.

And Poppy is still sitting tight on her three remaining eggs, bok-boking happily to her bubs and directing them to the feeder and water font, calling them back if they wander too far.

There really is nothing better than this. However things turn out.

Of course, there is a disconcerting thing. Poppy hasn’t pooed for three days, and this afternoon decided it was time. She sternly sent the chicks back to the nest, and bolted out onto the grass. She took the broody-poo position (it involves a lot of wide legged trembling and lowering of flaps) and … nothing. Poor girl almost turned herself inside out. I assisted in the end (gloved, thank you), and it seemed to give her some relief. It would seem she has certain bear-like abilities. I am both impressed and rather disconcerted …


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§ One Response to Day Twenty Two

  • Esme and Gytha says:

    A lovely tale of #6 (not a number, a free chick!) and #2 :P

    Looking forward to further progress reports, however things turn out. Then perhaps the human will leave the computer alone, and come and talk to us!

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