I had a post all ready to go about the turkey chicks, but it has been superseded by new turkey chick news! This morning I popped over to check on the turkeys and the four chicks. I also wanted to look at the sitting turkey and her eggs. As you know I forgot to note when she started sitting – again. She was sitting on a clutch of 11 eggs.
The appropriate word here is ‘was’. This morning I saw two little chicks peeping out. After my experience with the turkey chicks last time and as more rain and storms were forecast for today, I decided to take them into protective custody. I went to get a box. Of course, turkey chicks always appear when I am in a hurry – today I had a working dog training day and didn’t have much time before I had to leave. When I went to grab the chicks, more kept appearing, 2, 3, 4 …. I was probably not as calm as I should have been, or maybe the mother hen was just fed up with me (quite understandably), but she didn’t just peck at my hands she suddenly launched a full on attack. She leapt up in my face to attack me and chicks scattered everywhere. I managed to get 5 but the 6th disappeared into the grass.
The enraged mummy left the nest. I guessed she wouldn’t come back in a hurry especially as I had messed with her chicks and eggs. There were two eggs pipping, another that looked as if a chick had started to hatch, and two that just looked like eggs. I took the chicks and put them in the brooder and put the eggs in the incubator with the rhea eggs. I then spent about half an hour looking for the lost chick – I couldn’t find it. I went back inside and got ready for dog training and then went for one last look. There was the little chick, near its mummy, but basically cold and ignored – I grabbed it. I now had six in the brooder.
I went back at lunchtime to check on the chicks and the two pipped eggs had hatched – two more turkeys. I added them into the incubator. Now we have 8. I have just candled the remaining three eggs. Possibly one still has a live chick in it – I think I saw a beak in the air sack and some movement. One looks infertile and the one that has the crack around the middle looks as if the chick may have died – but then I know nothing about interpreting the results of candling! I have learnt to not crack them open though, but to wait and see. The incubator is probably not the best environment as the humidity is not high enough because I am incubating the rhea eggs, but it is the best I can do at the moment.
N.B. more photos tomorrow. I am tired from dog training and need my dinner!