Yesterday morning Farmer Rick left the door to the chicks unsecured and Francisco killed five before I came to their rescue. I had left the house and fortunately returned for something I'd forgotten, or else they all would be dead. I am extremely angry at FR's lack of mindfulness, and saddened by the loss (as he is). We had a good cry when we buried them.
It's too bad all our rescue dogs are hunting breeds instead of shepherding breeds.
Among the dead was Emma, the little Marans whose feet I taped every night and was finally walking fairly normally (she walked like a wind up toy), the most precocious Brabanter that flew to the tub side to see me every time I entered the room, a Buff Laced and a Silver Laced Polish, and the pesky Buff Orpington I didn't order who was finally settling down. Between the hatchery mix up, original losses, and this, my breeding plans are all messed up!
On top of the already heavy day, the replacement peeps showed up, a day before expected. I had just spoken to the hatchery Monday and they assured me the chicks were shipping Wednesday, not arriving Wednesday. The hatchery had asked if it was OK to put "a couple" of extra males in for warmth, and I said OK since they had sold out of any other hens I wanted. What I got was eight extra males of a same--but as yet unknown--breed! Since when is eight a couple? Now what on earth am I going to do with all those roosters?
I don't understand what's going on with today's lack of customer service and communication. It's pervasive from dishwashers to chickens. Maybe businesses have grown too large to be effective. I get the best service and communication from the individual sellers on eBay and Etsy.
The new replacement peeps are small and fragile in comparison to the first ones, I'm nervous about them. Francisco is banished to the side yard until all the babies have moved into the new coop. The hatchery is done with it's run this spring, so today I located an individual selling fertile eggs for some of my losses, and I ordered a Hobovator (incubator). Farmer Rick is open to trying new strategies for becoming more fully awake and mindful in the morning. This has been a rough spring for many of us.
Hopefully my next posts will be more cheerful...