Some sad news, I’m afraid – two of the three chicks that Girlie hatched have disappeared.
We’d left Girlie and the chicks in the main chicken run, since they had a safe indoor area that the rooster can’t get into (the entrance is just small enough that he can’t/won’t go in). Things had been going well, with Girlie taking the chicks out for little walks, showing them how to scratch for food, and clucking at them when they lagged behind.
The other chooks showed no interest in the chicks – one of our main concerns was that they’d attack them. We thought everything was working out great.
Then we came home to discover that two of the three chicks were nowhere to be found, and Girlie was obviously rattled and frantic, guarding the one remaining chick.
I’m pretty sure that it was a crow or raven that got the chicks. It’s too cold for snakes still, and not much else would be able to get into the pen. There’s simply no sign of them – the raider(s) must have carried them off.
So we’ve moved Girlie and the chick to a safe spot, and I’m now working on covering the chook run with bird netting. It’s not going to be easy, since there are trees and shrubs in the run, but I should be able to tie it in around them. At least that will solve the main problem we’ve been having with the chooks – wild birds coming in and eating their food.