Sally hen has been a doting mom. She seems to have accepted her babies’ strange eating habits. She still tries to get them to scratch the dirt, like good chicks should. Her chick-lings watch their momma and then run off for their wet mash or to chase an airborne bug. Three of the ducklings are doing well. Our escape artist weakened and was not as interested in eating on day four. I later found the baby, wet and shivering in the wet mash feeder. Not a good sign.
I think this was our last hatchling. If so, she struggled to free herself from her drying egg shell. I broke the cardinal rule of hatching and gave her a hand instead of letting her die. Breaking free of the egg is the first test of survival-hood skills. Sometimes they eventually die anyway but other times they don’t. Being a hobbyist, I can afford the risk, especially since we won’t breed these girls.
Once warm and dry, I fed her vitamin enriched molasses water using a syringe. She’s now set up in a brooder in our dining room so I can keep a close watch. After a night of care, she’s eating and drinking on her own but still not as strong as the others. I’ll keep her in until she gains strength and then bring her out for play dates. I’m hoping this is something she can grow out of and not something congenital. If so, I’m prepared. I’ll love her in the meantime.