When I looked in on Lukka and her baby chicks this morning, Lukka was staring at something behind the door that I couldn’t see. She was in her broody box keeping her babies warm but seemed fixated on something else. I opened the door and found her little black chick, dead with it’s leg stuck under a metal feeder. It looked like it had been out eating with Mama and somehow ended up trapped under the feeder in front of a door open to the cold outside air and couldn’t go back to the safety of the broody box. I lifted the feeder up and took the lifeless little body out. Lukka was making the sound that broody hens make when someone is too close to her baby. I put the chick in my coat pocket planning to bury it up by the house. I threw out some scratch grains for the chickens, goats and emus and headed back to the house. I decided to try to save the baby so I took it out of my pocket. It was still stiff and lifeless. I cupped it in my hands and blew warm breath into it’s face. When I got into the house I plugged in a blowdryer an started to warm the baby. The rest I captured on video.
Lukka and all five babies were safely tucked into bed when I last checked. I am still kind of in awe of what happened today. I saved a lot of lives in twenty years of nephrology nursing, sometimes getting a dialysis machine going just in the nick of time. It was always rewarding and exciting. This time it was just a tiny chick, me and a blowdryer, but just as rewarding. I will smile when I see the little black chick running around the yard.