On Tuesday, when exbf was here, I took the chicks in their cardboard box outdoors. It was very hot, no wind and sunny. My intentions were to let them have a half hour outdoors in the grass and then fix a new box and bring them inside. The day was beautiful, and the little chick (Maxene) just went wild, pecking and scratching and running through the grass. So, they stayed out about an hour or so.
The larger chick (Patty) had been ill for a week, at least. It first it was just sort of staggering. Then, the stagger led to falling. But, she got up each time as the condition got worse and worse. Finally, on Tuesday it could no longer stand or flop. Nothing I had done was helping. The little chick (Maxene) would run about exuberantly and then come and sit close to the sick chick (Patty). At one point Maxene sat beside Patty and extended her wing to its fullest and put it over Patty. That was heartwarming and emotionally overwhelming. I think Maxene knew Patty was ill. However, I did not get a picture.
During their stay outdoors exbf and I would watch them as we went in and out of the house and around the yard. He came indoors and I asked him to get the chicks a new box and paper, bring them inside, and leave their dishes outside. I wanted to start anew with everything clean.
He was outside for a long time, came in, and cautiously announced he could not find the little chick--Maxene. I rushed out and looked with him. I thought she had gone under the grill, but she was not there. He wanted to look far beyond where we last saw her. "No, she could not go that far. Besides, we could hear her cheeping like she was lost if she were far away." She was gone.
Sophia, the neighbor's cat loved to watch the first ten chicks I bought 4 year ago. She hangs around all the time. I know she got the little chick. But, I don't blame her.
The sick chick had not moved for awhile, but she was alive. I asked exbf to pinch her neck and put her out of her misery. He did. So, she is gone too. She was so close to death that she only barely moved one foot. There was no struggle.
I hope I don't get any comments from the judgmental people in Britain who said I should have spent close to $200 for vet care for Fancy. I am not financially capable of further care if my methods don't work. They said that Americans don't care, that animals were like children and need medical care and implied I would not take children to the doctor and do all that was humanly possible, spending large amounts of money to save chickens.
Before, I bought ten chicks and they all lived. This time? I just don't know what happened. The mortality rate was 100%. The first was stomped to death (I suppose) and the one was taken and the other was mercifully killed. I did all I could.
When I come into the room, I miss them. Since I really want eggs continuously, I am torn between not getting more chicks and getting more and trying again. Thelma no longer lays through the winter, so I am betting on Lucy for eggs this winter. Thelma still lays as many eggs as the much younger Lucy does during these long days.
So, it's over for this time. The Andrew Sisters are gone.
Have you ever just not managed to keep chicks alive? Or, any other animal? Has anyone blamed you for not spending money and preventing deaths of animals?