We’ve been putting the teen chickens out daily in the tractor, but the weather has been crummy lately and the ground is saturated. It actually snowed quite a bit yesterday and that made the ground messy. Today is gray and damp, so the teens are stuck inside in their brooder based on the formula chicks + mud = muddy, wet, cold, and unhappy chicks.
This morning, we also checked on the white rabbit kit that seems undersized and it looks like its foster mother may have fed it. It’s not at the expected level of plumpness yet, though, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on it and hand-feed periodically if it doesn’t show consistent “frog belly” and growth. It was very wiggly and jumpy this afternoon during a short hand-feeding, so there’s still hope.
No activity on the duck egg incubation front yet. Muscovies can take up to 37 days to hatch, so we’ll keep monitoring them and should see external pipping soon. It seems that they’re also slow to hatch, so we’ll have to be patient…which is difficult when you know there are ducklings in there!
It’s ironic that we’ve lived here for two years (through three winters) and every year, locals tell us that this weather isn’t “normal”. Hmm…when exactly will we see “normal” conditions? This has been a particularly wet winter, with wildly fluctuating temperatures – that’s bound to have an impact on the growth cycles of plants and animals. And all this sodden, soupy, quicksand-like mud is unpleasant for both people and animals.