Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sing For Your Supper

I said yesterday morning that we did not have a new chick.  I was right, we did not have a new chick at that moment, but when I checked the nest box later we had one less egg and one more chick.
Three little heads, and one big butt
 
I made this discovery just befor I headed to the airport to pick up Mrs Dr C, returning from her family Christmas vacation.  We are all glad to have back.

The chicks (some at least) are now able to vocalize.  Because I am I deaf I can't hear them unless I get my ear right up against the nest box.  Mrs Dr C can hear them quite well.  When we took them out to clean the nest box this morning I held the liner with the chicks in it up to my 'good' ear, a faint chorus of peeps.  Here's a pictorial of the cleaning process:
 
Warm up the bowl
 
remove the liner and chicks
 
Move the little buggers over (2 eggs still remain)
 
Glam shots
 
Obviously, while they are covered up in the bowl we dump the dirty shavings, wash out the liner which is poop plastered, and then retum them to the clean shavings and whisk them back to the anxious Billie Holliday.  She's always very anxious to get back in the nest box to see what mischief we have made.  She almost entered the nest box while I still had the cover open.  Usually she runs to the opposite end of the cage when I have it open.  Either she is more vested in her efforts now or perhaps she's figuring out that I'm not quite as dangerous as my contenance suggests.  
Winnie was hatched 12/21, Chick  #4, yesterday
 
The remaining two eggs should hatch in the next three or four days.  So far this adventure has gone very smoothly.  Of course I did not know what to expect but I did think that by now there might have been at least some little bit of 'tragic' news to report (inner skeptic making his presence felt).  As with most things it seems if we humans don't 'help' too much, nature's course will be the path to success.  Imagine how many keet chicks have successfully fledged without human intervention. 

OBTW:  Check out the size of the feet on those chicks!  Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them, the details are interesting.   

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