Three days ago "Midnight," a chicken who was born into my flock ages ago, showed up with 14 chicks! I have to tell you that Banty chicks are absolutely awful for disappearing and then showing up three weeks later with a brood of chicks, but I'm getting used to it, somewhat. Anyhoo, the chicks were doing great, Midnight is not a first time Mama and she was out and about with them all day. I wasn't able to find her nest, and believe me I tried, because we usually gather up the new chicks and put them in the run for their safety. Trying to gather up 14 chicks during the day, along with a testy banty, is not easy so we try to do it later at night, but not having any luck finding her nest made that impossible. Last night I said to Sydney "have you seen the chicks out and about?"
She replied "Nope." I started to worry and then this morning bad news. Sydney came running in the door with one chick hollering that she can't find Midnight and a couple of chicks are running about by themselves. Oh oh, was the first thought through my mind. I told her to go take a good look because she's probably beside the overflow of the run water in the tall grass.
She came in not two minutes later, tears streaming down her face, "I found Midnight, dead, with two chicks beside her, dead."
I went running out there and, sure enough, Midnight is laying there, feathers spread all over the place, from her nest (it was easy to see at that point) right down to behind our old motorhome. I lift her up and there's two more dead chicks beneath her. She had 14, and Sydney had found two, so still 8 missing. In total we found 6 alive and one more dead one, the rest have totally vanished. I'm now on the hunt for the dog who killed her. A coyote was spotted on the ranch the other day but if it were a coyote it would have taken Midnight away with only feathers left behind. She was killed more in sport and not for food, you could tell that. I can't stand a dog who kills chickens and be forewarned that if I catch a dog in the act of killing a chicken I will... well let's not go there 'cause it ain't pretty. I absolutely love my dogs but they know what will happen if they even look at a chicken the wrong way... unfortunately not every dog on the ranch has been raised this way.
So now I have six chicks with no Mama. Sydney and I set up a large cooler with a heat lamp, water, and food but what a pain and I'm hoping that "Granny," who's never had a batch of her own chicks, will quickly adopt them. She's always shared and adopted every batch of chicks we've had so hopefully it won't be long and they will have a Mama again.
Here's a few pics of the little gafs.
And here's Granny. She's old I know, but she sure does stay with the chicks long after their Mama leaves them.