April 18, 2009

La Gringa lost (then found) her chicks!

bantam chicks, La Ceiba, HondurasThe chicks seem to like the sun

I really screwed up on Friday. We were cleaning out the dog pen (chick cage). I put the new chicks in a laundry basket and I decided to let mama hen outside for awhile to eat some grass and bugs and stuff. I thought she would hear her chicks and come back. In fact, I left two windows open she could get back to her babies.

Wrong! She discovered her first-born chick, who is being mothered by another hen and decided that she wanted that chick back! She followed that chick and hen around all day, being aggressive with the other hen. Other times she hung around the window where she could hear her chicks calling her but she wouldn't come in.

So all day long we listened to the chicks peep. You may be thinking a sweet little 'peep, peep', but it was actually a high-pitched, ear-splitting, never ending PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP, PEEP.....

bantam chicks, La Ceiba, HondurasI held the chicks several times during the day to calm them. They decided that I was an acceptable substitute and would be quiet while I was holding them. They are so cute and so curious. In this photo, they are so comfy that they are falling to sleep.

bantam hen in cinnamon tree, La Ceiba, HondurasWe also tried to catch the hen several times during the day with no luck. Someone tried to help us and ended up scaring her so bad that she flew up into the cinnamon tree. (She is one of the wild tree chickens.) At that point, I knew it was hopeless to try to catch her and hoped for better luck the next day.

Missing chicksAbout 5 pm, I went upstairs. There was no more peeping so I assumed that they were asleep in their cage. About 6:30 I went downstairs and just went over to peek in on them. The pen was empty. NO CHICKS! Oh, my God! The windows were closed by then so I knew nothing could have gotten in to get them. The dogs were outside. They had to be somewhere.

bantam chicks, La Ceiba, HondurasI turned all the lights on and started looking around and found them all piled up in this corner of the room. Poor little orphans. (You can click on any of these photos to enlarge them.)

bantam chicks, La Ceiba, HondurasThey let me catch them and I put a little towel in the pen so they could curl up and stay warm (as if that is a problem in La Ceiba!).

bantam chicks, La Ceiba, HondurasThen, my luck holding, I heard a strange noise on the terraza and found the mama hen. She did not want to caught but between me, Chloe, and the chihuahuas, we had her cornered and I brought her inside to her chicks. Whew! One big happy family again.

bantam hens and chicks, La Ceiba, Honduras
I won't make that mistake again.
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