In playing with our new little Maran chicks, I discovered that our Blue Maran (Josephine) hadn’t completely absorbed her yolk sac before she was hatched. What resulted was a bit of an umbilical cord hanging out front.
I had actually seen this before in another chick I had hatched in an incubator. In that previous chick’s case, the *entire* yolk fell out (she was in every essence of the word a premie as I had to help her hatch out of the egg) and while she did recover, she only lived for a few months afterward being forever the smallest and weakest of our chickens.
Josephine however seems to be holding her own. Although she is larger than Mrs. Bucket, she is far behind her sister (and I’m going with the assumption that both of the chicks are female) with regard to feather growth.
Here is the smaller Mrs. Bucket. Just take a look at those wing feathers (and the suspicious budding on the butt.)
And here is Josephine. For the most part, she is still all fluff.
Both chicks are eating, drinking and are certainly active but Josephine seems to have a mild case of narcolepsy. She’ll be eating food and will fall asleep only to wake up when her head touches the ground, at which point she begins eating again.
The first day when Addy was holding her, she noticed that if you put Josephine on her back in the palm of your hand, she immediately closed her eyes and went to sleep. It happened so consistently that we were thinking of booking her on a late night show for the “Dumb Pet Tricks” segment. Even now, when I wrap her in my hands and hold her under my neck softly clucking to her, between the warmth and the darkness, she’s out like a light.
She’s a chicken-baby if I ever saw one.
Josephine is not sick, wheezing, or sneezing. In fact, as I’ve pointed out, she’s even larger than her sister, it’s just that she’s a tired little chick who definitely needs her sleep.
Today is cold and rainy in New Hampshire. Tomorrow should be sunny and warm, I’ll try to get a video of Josephine nodding off.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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