Saturday, April 09, 2022
Yesterday, I didn’t succeed in bringing home two baby ducks. The feed store where I work received a big shipment of chicks and ducklings. People knowing they were coming crowded into the store, waiting impatiently for assistance. The ducklings sold out before I could zero in on a couple for myself. Not many sights are cuter than quacking big-foot infants.
That’s not saying I came home empty-handed. From the store’s “chick watch tub,” I’m caring for a days-old, very weak “Easter Egger.” With help, she drinks and eats but cannot independently stand upright. She has a “splatter-foot” condition. I’ve worked with and lost several splatter-foots. I hope continuing may reveal how to strengthen and stabilize legs and feet.
A newborn with splattered feet gets picked-on by more stable brooder mates. I’ve learned that anxious single chicks may be calmed by fuzzy stuffed animals and tiny mirrors. Chicks instinctively snuggle with fuzzy objects; they’re attracted to their mirror images. My splatter-foot rescue is reassured by a fuzzy snake and isn’t crying for companionship. If only, at least, she manages to stand upright.
Dear Friends: Another tiny story in Nature’s world of mystery and hope. Diana