This weekend we added to our livestock number....nowhere near as many chicks as I hoped for though.
Firstly Saturday morning we acquired a bottle lamb. He was 48 hours old. He was born to a ewe who was believed not to be in lamb, she was recovering from liver fluke and was in poor body condition. The lamb had been born with weak joints in his front legs and was unable to stand to feed and the ewe was reluctant to allow him. My friend fed him milk from his mother for the first 48 hours but she neither had the time nor inclination to continue. So we have him. At present we have him at home rather than the yard. During the day he plays in the hen run and in the evening sleeps in a large dog crate in the shed.We are feeding him 5 times a day and encouraging him to be on his feet as much as possible to strengthen his joints. He is doing really well and I am sure has a future....well for a few months at least...something I doubted to begin with, but he is almost 'normal ' on his legs now. As soon as he is stronger and on three feeds a day he will join the others.
Chicks.... a disaster, well not good.
The Speckled Sussexs were an almost complete failure. I don't know if it was genetic or poor eggs. Of the 12 - 1 was clear, 6 died at early development, 2 so far have failed to hatch ( pretty sure they won't now) of the 3 that did hatch 2 look OK now but were slow to hatch and slow to dry and be up on their feet.The third to hatch is in the incubator but seems unable to stand so tonight will most likely be put out of it's misery.So from 12 eggs we have 2, so far live chicks.
The Welsummer ; Of the 12 eggs - 2 were clear, 5 have hatched into very lively, healthy chicks.1 has just hatched in the incubator, too early to tell if it's going to survive. The others were quick to hatch and be up and running, this one is much slower. There are 4 unhatched, I will give them a few more days but I am not hopeful. So 5 possibly 6 Welsummers. Lovely healthy chicks but not many.
Think I will stick to eggs from a known source and a broody next time !!