Monday, April 16, 2007
We've been having babies for the past few days! This is what the inside of the incubator looked like this morning. I think we're up to ~30 chicks now. Ten are fluffy and eating; the other 20 are still wet and wobbly. There's another 40 eggs left to hatch, but as they say -- don't count your chickens before they hatch. Who knows how many we will have.
Yesterday, Anne freshened with a single buckling. He is tri-color spotted and has blue eyes! If they gave points for flashiness, he'd be a champ! She gave birth in the pasture, and by the time we found the little guy, he was fluffy and nursing. It looks like Anne might be following in her mama's hoofprints -- Sherri is a very easy kidder, and she usually kids so fast that no one is there when the first one is born, even if we have a baby monitor on.
Two days ago, Snow White kidded. This is her little buckling, Prince Charming. Snow White will be officially retired now. She will be 9 years old this summer. We've had her for three years, and this is the second time she has kidded with us. She had trouble last time, and she had trouble again this time. It looked like her labor had stopped after she had two kids, so we thought she was done. An hour later, she started pushing again. After several minutes of serious pushing with her ears laid back, I told Margaret to get a pair of gloves and the iodine. When I reached inside Snow White, I felt a joint, either a knee or a hock. I said, "Oh, shit!" grabbed tightly and pulled like crazy, knowing that it was unlikely that I was pulling on a live kid. I wasn't. Turns out I had hold of his hind leg. We rubbed and rubbed, but there was no sign of life. Margaret convinced me to check Snow White again to be sure there were no more kids, and my finger bumped against a water balloon. "There's another one." Imagine trying to grab a water balloon in a bucket of water. It kept slipping from my fingers. Finally I was able to get a grip on it, and I pulled out an intact bag of water with another dead kid. I looked at Snow White and said, "You are retired!"