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The Great Chick/Duckling Massacre of 2011

It makes me so sad to write this post, but it's just what happens on a farm.

When baby chicks and ducklings come in the mail, it can be a stressful time for them.  Since their yolk will sustain them for a couple days without food or water, they are able to be mailed out from the hatcheries.  Still, it's stressful!  The hatcheries always add a couple more chicks in since they assume that a few won't make it.  I was so pumped for the first couple days after we got our ducklings and chicks because we didn't lose any of them!  I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for being such a good mama.

And then it happened...

The big ducklings pecked a hole through a cardboard divider and tramped several chicks and a baby duck. 

When I say big ducklings, let me just illustrate:

The duckling on the left is about two weeks old.  The duckling on the right is a couple days old.  See the difference?  The Pekin duckling on the left is huge!  The breeder we got them from said he has never seen such big ducklings.

So, the big ducklings pecked a hole through the cardboard and must have rushed through the hole.  We found the little duckling underneath the hole so he must have got trampled by the big ducklings.  Then the big ducklings pushed over a two by four that we had separating the ducklings and the chicks.  The chicks were right on the other side of the two by four since that's where the heat lamp was located.  So, we lost four baby chicks that were crushed by the board.

I was so mad at those big ducklings!  They are such bullies!  I've gotten over my anger, because I know this is what happens on a farm.  Sometimes animals get out and sometimes animals get killed. 

On another note, we are losing our baby poults rapidly.  We ordered 15 baby turkeys and are down to about 10 or 11.  I knew ahead of time that baby poults are difficult to raise, but man it sucks to go out and find that baby who was fine last night and dead the next morning.  We didn't lose anymore this morning, so I'm hopeful we are over the hump.

Life and death are just a part of a farm and it's something that I will definitely have to get used to.

Lisa  – (April 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM)  

Poor babies!!! Hopefully you don't lose any more. They are so darn cute when they are little.

Whiffletree Farm  – (April 26, 2011 at 7:09 PM)  

I know what you mean about losing animals. No matter how many, how it happens or what for, I am always sad. Sometimes very sad. Beth

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