I guess I was a little cavalier about the baby chicks. I thought I’d given them a nice, safe brood box and we left to go to dinner with friends. When I went out to check them this evening, two had squeezed out under the box and were loose in the chicken run. One had the downy feathers scraped off her leg. I scooped them up and put them back into the box but one more was missing.
I looked everywhere. I heard a faint peeping and tried in vain to train my ears for the direction. I was about to give up and call it a loss. Suddenly I noticed a little yellow fluff pinned behind the feeding tray in the brood box. Poor little chicky had gotten herself stuck and she, too, had scraped her feathers off her leg and it was dragging. Who would have thought they could get into so much trouble so fast?
I Googled how warm do chicks need to be, as the weather report said it may get down to 58 tonight. It says the first month they need 95-100 degrees! I quickly set up my red heating lamp and they crowded underneath it.
I feel like such a horrible mother. I think I’ll have to go back to the farm store tomorrow for a couple more chicks, as the injured ones probably won’t make it. We’ve made adjustments to the brood box so they should no longer be able to get out, and I put more effort into teaching them how to get at the water dish. You’re supposed to stick their beaks into it so they’ll get the idea but I don’t think they had caught on yet.
I guess we’ll see over the next week how many survive their early days on our farm. I’d never lost a chick before so I was way too complacent.