Introducing Clueless and Hopeless!

Chicks with special needs!

Our third and final batch of chicks were introduced to their new residence in the garden last week at five weeks old and all of them made the most of their new environment. All but two that is, namely Clueless and Hopeless!  After a couple of days we noticed that this particular duo were not venturing outside. After physically removing the home birds and placing the on the grass nearby, they showed no inclination to explore and just settled in one spot looking somewhat bemused. The next day I was working in the veg plot and decided to take the dozy duo with me in the hope of encouraging them with the delights of freshly hoed earth! Not a chance, even when I presented them with a particularly fine specimen of a worm! We have read in the past that sometimes, hand reared chicks don’t automatically know how to feed and need a demonstration – just as the mother hen would do. We haven’t had this problem in the past and presumably within their first few days of life indoors, this twosome observed the other birds feeding and followed suit. When we erected an outdoor run containing all manner of vegetation and bugs, we can only guess that maybe this pair didn’t venture out and learn from their peers how to feed in a more natural environment. Hopefully, as we keep putting them outside where they can see all the other chicks, they’ll eventually get the hang of foraging. One thing’s for sure, You won’t find me doing the mother hen bit and sticking my face in the dirt in pursuit juicy bugs!

Now that we are at the height of summer, nesting is still high on the agenda and we have some pretty crazy variations on that theme, from a high-rise heap with not an egg in sight….

Lucky and Chance - just pretending!

…to a hidden clutch in the bushes, with not a hen in sight…

Hidden nest

… to a team effort in the Muscovys’ nest box…

Puff and Biggles

Puff and Biggles are sitting on quite a large number of eggs again and hopefully, if they manage to hatch a reasonable proportion of them, our resident crow won’t carry any of them off!

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