Back From The Dead


When I arrived to the final row of bird feeders this morning, there was a recently fledged chick on top of the middle nest box, stone cold. It’s a mystery how it got there.

I scooped it up, cradled it in my warm palm, and completed the feeding with one hand. After a few minutes, I saw it move, and after 15 minutes, it began to cheep loudly. It had been fed, and I can only assume that the hen in the top box had gotten it caught up as she came from the box, and it had somehow fallen down on the one below. Good thing it did, otherwise I’d have missed it, or it may have dropped on the floor and I’d have stepped on it – awful! It is presently prospering beneath the hen in the middle box, who already has one chick, in case it was purposely tossed out.

This has occurred previously, when a hen abandoned her babies, and I was able to preserve three of them by just warming them up. I then spooned full-cream milk down their throats with a sharpened matchstick soaked in it. They were then moved to other nests where hens were caring for their young.

I’m writing this for those who may not have considered attempting to resurrect abandoned chickens. Who knows, the one I spared this morning could be the winner of next year’s Club Show. It may not always succeed, but it is always worthwhile to try!

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