Country living is fraught with danger. Forget the idyllic, peaceful setting, Greensleeves playing on a lute in the background, goats grazing on the front lawn, chickens scratching in the side yard, dogs lounging on the porch, cats draped boneless off the edge of the doghouse roof...cue the Psycho stabby music! Mother Nature will claw your eyes out if you're not ever-vigilant.
The Pony has the duty of checking on the animals during the day. We have a black hen that hatched one chick. Nothing went wrong. She was only sitting on one egg. It was not even her egg. Hens are like that. They're opportunists when they get all broody. I asked The Pony if he was sure it was not her egg. "Well, considering that she sat on the same spot for two weeks, and there was never an egg under her, I'd say she took this one from another hen."
This poor hen is like Miss Prissy. Not in looks. In yearning. She had one other chick last summer, but it disappeared. It was not the one who perched on the edge of the water tub and drowned. This one vanished. Since we don't have chicken wire (what do you think we are, farmers or something?), the chicks weave in and out of the dog pen fence that makes up their open-doored pen. I'm sure something ate it.
Now Miss Prissy is all overprotective of this one chick. Hick put them up in a little pen that used to be a rabbit hutch, until the chick is big enough to have the common sense to not wander off from its mother. They have to have fresh food and water each day. Hick cautioned The Pony, "Be careful when you reach into that hen's cage. She'll get you. I had to knock her back three times before I could give her food."
The Pony agreed. "I KNOW! I have to hold her back with a stick so I can get the water. She'll peck you!" He must have thought it was a form of torture when I sent him to take a picture while checking on their water at noon. All things considered, he did a decent job of snapping some photos without losing an arm.
You know how some babies play in their food? Fowl babies poop in their food.