Not only did we get ducklings at the co-op this week, but we've had chicks hatching in the incubator. They were due on Tuesday, but we had some stragglers on Thursday. Three of them made me faint Thursday morning, which is another story. Thursday night, however, there were two who just seemed to be stuck in their shells. They had been trying to hatch all day and couldn't get out.
Now, really, you should never ever help a chick hatch out of its shell. But they were trying all day, and I knew they were doomed to die if I did nothing. You could hear their little voices. "Cheap cheap cheap cheap! Help me! Help me!" I was giving Little Z a bath when I just couldn't take it anymore! I took a wet wash cloth from the bath.
"Where are you going?" asked Little Z.
"I'm going to save chicken lives!"
It took a while of careful manipulation, but I got the shells off of both of them. One of them didn't make it. The other one looked horrible, just a wet alien thing laying on a wet washcloth. It was much larger than its shell would have predicted. I think that was part of the reason it couldn't get out. The other part was low humidity in the incubator, which made all of the nice gooey stuff that should have made him fluffy and cute just dry out on him and make him look hideous.
I could have given up on him, but I thought, what's the harm in leaving him in there for a day or two and seeing what happens? It'll be a miracle if he survives, but still, there's a chance.
I left him in there. And, this morning, he was walking around, acting like a chicken! Not a fluffy cute chicken. Bless his heart, he's ugly. But alive! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a Chicken Called Miracle:
I put him in the hot box with the other chicks and little ducklings. (You aren't supposed to have chickens and ducks together, but we do, and they get along great. Why not?) The other creatures weren't sure quite what to make of him, at first.
They kept their distance.
I told them not to pick on him. It's hard to say if they understood.
It's still a critical time. I don't know if he fits in. Miracle is so much smaller than the other chickens and ducks. And you can't exactly say he's got character- I mean, someone else had to help him out of his own egg!
Still, I'm holding out hope for Miracle the Chicken. I'll keep you updated.