I couldn’t sleep last night worrying that my chicks were dead before they even had a chance to hatch.
So I got up near midnight and started working on plan b. I would give these eggs till Saturday afternoon to hatch. That would be day 22.5. Plan b was to find some baby chicks for sale to slip under her and trick her into thinking they were hers.
So at midnight, there I was searching Trademe (New Zealand’s equivalent of Ebay) for newly hatched chicks for sale close to where I live. I wasn’t expecting to find any but there they were. Just down the road from where I live were baby “Silver Laced Wyandottes, Splash Buff Laced Wyandottes and Light Sussex hatched 7th November“. So plan b was ready to put into action if I was going to be a first time chicken mother failure .
So then I spent the next thirty minutes lying in bed trying to sleep with my mind on which breed of chicks I would choose. So about 1am I started thinking this is very silly. I have to get up at 6am for work. I need to try to get some sleep.
So I switched the light back on (I had gone into the spare room by this stage so as not to disturb Haitch), sat back up and picked up my book, Leningrad Tragedy of a City Under Siege 1941-44. And as the title suggests this is not a light read, so this should take my mind off the chickens and help me to sleep. And it worked. I was asleep about 15 minute later.
So this morning before I went to work I rushed out to see if there were any chicks, gently lifted the nesting box lid, still no chicks. At least I was happy that I had a plan b ready to go, so all was not lost and off I went to work.
Tonight we didn’t get home until 7:30. I tried to not look too eager and nonchalantly changed into my old clothes, gave Hilda and Helen some treats and then steeled myself to look into the nesting box. First I listened outside the box hoping to hear peeping of little chicks. Nothing.
So with a degree of sadness, I lifted the lid of the nesting box…………………There sitting in front of Hannah Hen was a tiny little dark coloured baby chick. But then that instant, there out of the corner of my eye, I saw a very large spider running towards me on the lid of the nesting box. I put the lid down quickly and ran inside yelling out to Haitch. “I have a chicken but I need to you come and kill a big spider!” “Hurry!” I didn’t want the spider to get into the nest. It was huge and may have caused mayhem.
So we both went running back outside and Haitch got rid of the spider for me and then we both gently lifted the lid of the nesting box and peeped inside. The chick had disappeared underneath her mum, probably terrified by the spider commotion.
Did I imagine a chick? No, because there on the floor of the hen house was an egg shell. I peeped back in a few hours later and there was no sign of the chick but another eggshell was on the floor. How wonderful nature is.
I will go out again tonight before I go to sleep for one last check to see how many egg shells there are.