Well, this morning dan walked out and was greeted with eight dead laying chicks in our pen.
At this point, dan is ready to get a 'regular job' and call it quits with the farm. So many unknowns and difficulties that we are ill prepared for. We have put so much time and energy into these new chicks. And we have now lost 30%.
After a lot of thought and introspection...it seems the chicks are actually killing each other. What an awful horrendous thing. I am ready to be through this and on the other side. Cannibalism is very common among commercially raised hens because they are in close confinement, in bright lights all of the time, and denied access to pasture. So from the stress of the confinement and lights and the boredom of not having anything real to pick at, they pick on each other. The industry's answer to such a heinous situation is to make it worse. We cut off the chicken's beak so they physically cannot pick at anything. Great.
Well, we won't be debeaking anyone here. We are sure that this set in due to a mistake we on sunday. We closed the side vents on their hoop house on a sunny but very breezy day. And we turned on the brooder lamp thinking they were probably cold. Luckily Mike showed up soon after and opened the vents up. He probably saved most of them. But over the next few nights we lost 20 chicks. And then again on Wednesday, the door to the house shut from the wind. Again some birds stuck inside became too hot, and again Mike came along and released the built up heat. And then we lost more. So in all this blunder has cost us...oh, 25 little lives. $120 that we have invested in them and the sadness and stress of knowing that we could have prevented the entire thing.
Are we reinventing the wheel? Sometimes it feels like it. We feel alone and clueless. How could we have let this happen. TWICE!!
Wait till you hear about what happened tonight in the milk house...